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Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving Hardcover – August 24, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This paper-over-board picture book biography approaches the holiday from an evangelical point of view. Beginning with Squanto's kidnapping, at age 12, by the Spanish from his Patuxet village in 1608, Metaxas (The Birthday ABC) follows him to M laga, Spain. His friends are sold into slavery, "but God had another plan for Squanto." Monks purchase Squanto and teach him their beliefs, then entrust him to a kind man in London until he can find passage back to America. Finally, in 1618, he arrives home, only to find his village wiped out by disease. The discovery tests Squanto's faith but does not destroy it ("As he pondered the great sorrow in his heart, he talked to God"). When Squanto comes to the aid of starving English newcomers, Governor Bradford predicts the hero's role: "Perhaps God has sent you to be our Joseph." In the end, Bradford and Squanto both give thanks to God for using Squanto in "such a way that would bless the whole world for centuries to come." Of all the offerings this season, this account comes closest to describing the holiday's religious roots and historical beginnings, even though many may argue with the book's politics and/or theology. Stirnweis's portraits tend to be stiff and inconsistent, but his realistic renderings of M laga and London architecture are atmospheric. The culminating illustration portrays Squanto in a pose like Christ on the Mount. Ages 5-10. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Eric Metaxas is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, Bonhoeffer; Amazing Grace; Seven Men; and Miracles. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. ABC News has called Metaxas a “witty ambassador for faith in public life.” He speaks to thousands around the United States and internationally each year. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 24, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849958644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849958649
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 9.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ERIC METAXAS is the author of four New York Times Bestsellers, including the #1 Bestseller, BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, which was named "Book of the Year" by the ECPA and sold over one million copies in 19 languages. Called a "biography of uncommon power," it appeared on numerous 2010 "Best of the Year" lists and was ranked #21 on the Amazon.com listing of Most Highlighted Books of all time.

He is host of the Eric Metaxas Show, a nationally-syndicated daily radio program in 120 cities. (MetaxasTalk.com) ABC News has called Metaxas a "photogenic, witty ambassador for faith in public life," and The Indianapolis Star described him as "a Protestant version of William F. Buckley." Metaxas is also the host of Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life, broadcast on the NRB network and www.Socratesinthecity.com.

Metaxas was the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, an event attended by the President and First Lady, the Vice President, members of Congress, and other U.S. and world leaders. Previous keynote speakers have included Mother Theresa, Bono, and Tony Blair. That speech and Eric's essay on the experience, were put into a book, No Pressure, Mr. President: The Power of True Belief in a Time of Crisis.

Along with his colleague John Stonestreet, Metaxas is the voice of BreakPoint, a radio commentary that is broadcast on 1,400 radio outlets with an audience of eight million.

In 2011, Metaxas was the 17th recipient of the Canterbury Medal awarded by the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom. He has testified before Congress about the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S. and abroad, and spoke at CPAC2013 on the issue of Religious Freedom. In September 2013, Eric and his wife Susanne were jointly awarded the Human Life Review's "Great Defender of Life Award." Metaxas has honorary Doctorates from Sewanee College, Hillsdale College, and Liberty University.

Eric's book (November 2014) MIRACLES: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life hit #12 on the New York Times Best Seller list and is being translated into German, Polish, Greek, Portuguese, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Estonian, Slovak, Korean, Swedish, Finnish, and Croatian.

His Dec. 25th, 2014 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, titled "Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God," is unofficially the most popular and shared piece in the history of the Journal, garnering over 450,000 Facebook Likes and 8,000 comments.

Metaxas is a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Large for the King's College in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A mom on December 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book shows children that one person can make a positive impact on the world, and that God is with them even during the bad times of their lives. It was Squanto's faith in God that helped him forgive Europeans for kidnapping him, and it was his faith in God that made him decide to help the Pilgrims. The spiritual aspect of Squanto's life is too important to leave out when we pass this story down to our children.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It's no mere coincidence that those who bought this book at Amazon also purchased titles by Rudyard Kipling and Hans Christian Anderson, for Eric Metaxas tells stories the way they used to be toldy. His knowledge of history and attention to detail are solid and thankfully for the reader he hasn't succumbed to the popular notions of political correctness and historical revisionism. There are things in American history to be ashamed of but there are many more things to be proud of and Metaxas reminds Americans of this. Both Native Americans and those who came later will leave this tale with a smile on their lips and thanksgiving to God in their hearts.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By G. Waddell on March 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful and accurate children's book about the first Thanksgiving. In a society where 'primary source documentation' and truth do not seem to matter anymore, this book brings back the factual account of Squanto and God's mighty power and grace. The illustrations are beautiful and the book is short enough so a very young reader will not lose interest. This children's book will be an inspiration to all who read it. Every parent should read this book before their child reads it.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Ernie on November 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Reviews about this book don't go far enough. This isn't just about the circumstances of Squanto's life and how he came to assist the Pilgrims as they landed in Massachussetts. Rather, and more importantly, it is about the hand of God guiding one individual, who would eventually rescue a group of Christians from an uncertain fate. Had it not been for the monk who taught Squanto about Christianity and basic English, he would never have been able to help the Pilgrims.
This is a great children's book for one of the most important holiday's of the year.
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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Steven Fantina on November 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It is hard to predict how the politically correct police will respond to the publication of this engaging children's book. While the lead character is an Indian (or Native American or whatever p.c. term is in vogue these days) which they generally view positively, he is also a Christian which they generally view negatively. The plot twist that has Squanto embracing the Christian faith should truly ruffle some feathers (so to speak) because faddish dictates say that all religions save Christianity and Judaism are beneficial. Obviously by finding his new faith, he leaves the old one behind.
Well, it's too bad that the censorious elites may go on the warpath over this uplifting true story, because they will miss out on a great read. While Squanto's name is relatively familiar, his biography is penumbral to even many well-educated Americans. His story should be better known because he personified the American Spirit before there was a United States.
Kidnapped as a boy of twelve and taken across the ocean as promising chattel in the slave trade, he was blessed to have been "purchased" by some monks who took pity on him. (In a truly irritating development to the p.c. crowd it is his liberators who are portrayed as religious while his evil captors are not.) The Italian monks strive to return Squanto to his family but the homecoming takes ten years. Sadly that is too late as a plague has wiped out his entire village before his return. The remainder of the story summarizes the famous part of Squanto's life--his mutually salvific interactions with the Pilgrims. Charmingly illustrated this American tale may not be the best for very young children because it deals honestly with depravity of the slave trade although that is a tertiary focus of the story. And though the target audience is much younger, adults will enjoy this salutary narrative of a remarkable life that knew devastating heartbreak and ultimately redemptive joy.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Momof3dd on October 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent resource to teach children the true meaning of Thanksgiving and how much God loves each of his children and has a wonderful plan for all of them. I would definitely recommend this book!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By H. Bergeson on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This was an incredibly beautiful rendering of Squanto's life. I highly recommend the book to all ages.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David0001 on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for teaching the history of Thanksgiving. The story is well told, and the writing is well crafted. The pictures are remarkable; you can spend a lot of time looking into the faces of the characters, which are rich with emotion and humanity and realism. This book is a great investment.
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