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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Abridged and adapted from Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (Penguin, 2007), this volume highlights both the Pilgrims' determination to find and settle a home where they could worship freely and the perilous journey that it took to make that happen. In accessible prose, the author shatters the American myth of the landing at Plymouth Rock and the first Thanksgiving, instead describing how the Pilgrims first landed on Cape Cod, finding only sandy soil and seemingly hostile, terrifying natives. They eventually moved on to the shores of Plymouth Bay, encountering a more hospitable environment for settlement. Using William Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation as a primary source of information, Philbrick brings to life many of the major figures from history, including Miles Standish, Benjamin Church, Squanto, and William Bradford himself. The various maps, reproductions of historical documents, photographs of significant locations, and illustrations all come together with the text to help separate fact from legend and create a realistic, readable portrayal of the Pilgrims and their first 50 years in America. General readers and students of American history will find plenty to interest them, as many of the encounters with the Native Americans are of dubious intent and usually quite bloody, though Philbrick is careful not to lay blame on any one group or person. An excellent addition to history collections.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

General readers and students of American history will find plenty to interest them...An excellent addition to history collections. -- School Library Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1170 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142414581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142414583
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nathaniel Philbrick
Life at a Glance

Born
1956 in Boston, Mass.

Educated
Linden Elementary School and Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pa.; BA in English from Brown University in Providence, RI, and an MA in America Literature from Duke University in Durham, NC

Sailing
Philbrick was Brown's first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978; that year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI; today he and his wife Melissa sail their Beetle Cat Clio and their Tiffany Jane 34 Marie-J in the waters surrounding Nantucket Island.

Married
Melissa Douthart Philbrick, who is an attorney on Nantucket. They have two children: Jennie, 23, and Ethan 20.

Career
After grad school, Philbrick worked for four years at Sailing World magazine; was a freelancer for a number of years, during which time he wrote/edited several sailing books, including Yaahting: A Parody (1984), for which he was the editor-in-chief; during this time he was also the primary caregiver for his two children. After moving to Nantucket in 1986, he became interested in the history of the island and wrote Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People. He was offered the opportunity to start the Egan Maritime Foundation in 1995, and in 2000 he published In the Heart of the Sea, followed by Sea of Glory, in 2003, and Mayflower, due in May 2006.

Awards and Honors
In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award for nonfiction; Revenge of the Whale won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; Sea of Glory won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, and the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#68 in Books > History
#68 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

Heard good things about it from friends.
ellie ramsey
After reading this book to my son for history, I decided that my dad, who is a history buff, would enjoy this book for Christmas.
tag3h
A good way to learn history in a very well written book.
Nancy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on November 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Nathaniel Philbrick has adapted and abridged his New York Times bestselling historical narrative MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War for a younger audience. THE MAYFLOWER AND THE PILGRIMS' NEW WORLD includes numerous sketches, maps and photographs of artifacts, detailed timelines and insets of historical biographies, all of which add to its accessibility.

The book begins with an English colony of Separatists living quietly in Leiden, Holland, longing for the quiet and familiar English village life now lost to them, and determined to establish a small, inwardly focused colony in the New World where they would be free to worship as they chose. Some of the most vivid prose deals with the Pilgrims' preparations for their journey. The writing deftly captures both their fear of the perilous journey they felt compelled to undertake, and the stoicism and courage of this small and humble congregation in the face of their low odds of success.

Philbrick makes it easy to visualize the triumphs and frustrations of the daily lives of the Pilgrims, from the terrible death toll on the high seas to the difficult first landing in Cape Cod and their subsequent move to the more hospitable Plymouth Bay. An eerie emptiness greeted them on the Massachusetts coast --- a plague had recently decimated the locals. In this dangerous and new land, they encountered the Pokanoket Indians and their charismatic sachem Massasoit, whose initial offer of help and protection saved them from certain death.

The friendship, cooperation and mutual dependence that grew between the Indians and the Pilgrims lasted 50 years.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In my opinion, this book is best by chapters -- it's great for a student researching a report or looking for specific information. As an adult, I enjoyed the entire book, but depending on the age and ctendencies of your student, you may want to be selective.

This book provides valuable information in maps and portraits and photographs of museum pieces. The maps are particularly good. Don't miss the who's-who at the beginning of the book and the timelineat the end. The book has a good index, and also a Mayflower passenger list.

The first part of the book follows the Pilgrims from England to Leiden, Holland, and explores the personalities, characters and context. We read as they board their tiny ship and set out for America, and we learn about what went wrong with the voyage and the new colony: almost everything.

In the second part of the book, the Pilgrims build their relationships with the native American people, and learn to succeed and prosper in their colony.

The third part of the book deals specifically with King Philip's War, a 14-month series of battles against the entire native population of the region.

The epilogue is a stale rehash of Jean Fritz's book "Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock?"

The author, Nathaniel Philbrick, seems to believe that part of his responsibility is mythbusting, but the myths he busts are Baby-Boomer myths about the Pilgrims. He goes out of his way to explode the traditional depictions of the dress, menu, and table settings at the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621. Multiple times.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Obert on June 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World is a very well written book that I enjoyed immensely. Much of the information contained in this book I did not know and I found it exciting as well as informative. Being a born New Englander with immigrant as well as Native American blood, I am a little ashamed that I did not already know the true story of the Pilgrims and their adventures. This book is not a book that paints a flowery picture of colonial life but a harsh and sometime tragic tale. I am now bitten by the bug to know even more of the rich history of both the New World settlers and the original native peoples. Thank you Nathaniel for opening my eyes to the history in my own back yard...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Exercisemaniac on February 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the writing style of this book that was "adapted for young people" from the "adult" version of "Mayflower".
It is a captivating account of the settling of the Plymouth Colony and know that I was happier reading this version (I have several post graduate degrees by the way) than I would have been reading the "adult" version. Five stars and it is no wonder Nathaniel Philbrick won the National Book Award.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Pritchett on November 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Thanksgiving Day has a whole new meaning once the true story of the pilgrims' settlement along Cape Cod comes into light in this book...History comes alive with Philbrick's careful consideration of each puzzle piece.. bringing both worlds of the Puritans and the Native Americans together as they truly happened...(more)" ~ Lynn Pritchett, Contributing Writer at Suite101.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By captiii on March 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to read this book. It helps put into perspective how this nation was founded and may dis-spell some myths that have become seemingly engrained in our culture.
This is an excellent book. It describes the relevant details of the first fifty years of settlement in New England focusing in on the part played by the Mayflower Pilgrims during this era. From their first encounter with the native people, the King Philip's War fifty years later, and the major events occurring in between, this book captures the evolution of change in the relationship between English settlers and the natives that unfortunately led to the destruction of the native culture and way of life.
The Mayflower Pilgrims, faced a dangerous voyage, a hostile and untamed wilderness upon arrival, scant food sources, an unknown native people, pressure from their financial investors and finally the arrival of many more people that did not share their religious or political views. The book was a revelation to me that there is a difference between the pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower and settled at Plymouth Rock as religious and political separatists and the puritans who did not start arriving in mass until ten years later.
Contrary to what I had been taught and had learned previously, there is much evidence presented in this book to show that the primary purpose for the Pilgrims venturing to the "New World" was political not religious. The Mayflower Pilgrims were on a political rather than a religious pilgrimage. Their religious freedom had been assured when they left England for Holland. In Holland they could practice their separatist view of religion as they desired, it was their separatist view of politics and their desire to remain English that led them to New England.
The content of this book in its entirety will help any reader understand a New England mindset that ultimately led to the American Revolution and is still evident today.
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