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History Smashers
Cover of History Smashers
History Smashers
The Mayflower
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Myths! Lies! Secrets! Smash the stories behind famous moments in history and expose the hidden truth. Perfect for fans of I Survived and Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales.In 1620, the Pilgrims landed at...
Myths! Lies! Secrets! Smash the stories behind famous moments in history and expose the hidden truth. Perfect for fans of I Survived and Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales.In 1620, the Pilgrims landed at...
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Description-

  • Myths! Lies! Secrets! Smash the stories behind famous moments in history and expose the hidden truth. Perfect for fans of I Survived and Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales.

    In 1620, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and made friends with Wampanoag people who gave them corn. RIGHT?

    WRONG! It was months before the Pilgrims met any Wampanoag people, and nobody gave anybody corn that day.

    Did you know that the pilgrims didn't go straight from England to Plymouth? No, they made a stop along the way—and almost stayed forever! Did you know there was a second ship, called the Speedwell, that was too leaky to make the trip? No joke. And just wait until you learn the truth about Plymouth Rock.

    Through illustrations, graphic panels, photographs, sidebars, and more, acclaimed author Kate Messner smashes history by exploring the little-known details behind the legends of the Mayflower and the first Thanksgiving.

    "Kate Messner serves up fun, fast...

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    one

    Who Were the Pilgrims, Anyway?

    If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

    The answer to the riddle, of course, is Pilgrims. The joke works because almost everyone knows a little about the Pilgrims. We've heard how they left England and came to America in search of religious freedom. But that's not even close to the whole story. For starters, the Pilgrims didn't go to America when they left England. Not at first, anyway.

    The real-deal story of the Mayflower begins way back in the 1530s, when King Henry VIII made some big changes to religion in England. King Henry wanted a son who could grow up to be the king of England, too. He and his first wife only had a daughter, though. Henry decided the solution was to get divorced and marry someone else, with whom he might have a son.

    But the Roman Catholic Church was the official church in England then, and it did not allow divorce. King Henry went all the way to the pope, the leader of the whole Catholic Church, to argue that he should be able to leave his wife and marry a new one. When the pope said no, Henry decided to break away from the Catholic Church and start his own. From then on, the Church of England would be the official church of the land.

    King Henry wasn't the only one who had issues with the Roman Catholic Church at that time. Many complained that Catholic leaders had too much power and wealth. But not everyone liked King Henry's new church, either. Some thought it was too similar to the Catholic Church. One group, called the Puritans, wanted the new church to be "purified" of all the old practices. Other people didn't think that was enough. They were called Separatists because they wanted to separate from the Church of England completely and have their own religion. The Separatists thought that true Christian believers should come together in their own small churches. They wanted those churches to be independent so members could study the Bible and make decisions on their own.

    William Brewster, who was the postmaster of a village called Scrooby, decided to start a church in his own house. It was a risky idea. Back then, people who didn't follow the Church of England could be thrown in jail. In his book Of Plymouth Plantation, Pilgrim William Bradford wrote that Brewster's Separatists were "hunted and persecuted on every side."

    Government officials were watching the Separatists' houses day and night. Some of them did get thrown in jail. You can probably understand why leaving England was starting to seem like a good idea.

    So that's when the Separatists set sail for America, right?

    Wrong. They went to Holland.

    Holland, which today we call the Netherlands, was known for religious freedom. Brewster learned that a small group of Separatists had recently escaped to the city of Amsterdam, where they could practice their religion in peace. That seemed like a good idea, so Brewster made plans to take his group there, too. His followers were nervous, though. They didn't speak Dutch. They weren't sure how they'd earn money to support their families. Bradford later wrote that to many of the Separatists, taking off for Holland seemed like "an adventure almost desperate" and "a misery worse than death." But after much discussion, they decided to go anyway.

    1607: Brewster arranged for a ship to sneak his congregation away to Amsterdam. It was expensive, and they had to wait a long time, but he didn't see any other option.

    Finally the day arrived.

    It was time for the Separatists to leave England once and for all!

    But then everything fell apart.

    The ship's captain had ratted them out!

    The...

About the Author-

  • KATE MESSNER is passionately curious and writes books that encourage kids to wonder, too. Her titles include award-winning picture books, like Over and Under the Snow; novels, like Breakout and Chirp; the Fergus and Zeke easy reader series, and the popular Ranger in Time chapter books, and works of nonfiction with a focus on nature and history. Before becoming a full time writer, Kate was a TV journalist and National Board certified middle school English teacher. She lives on Lake Champlain with her family and is trying to summit all 46 Adirondack High Peaks in between book deadlines. Visit katemessner.com and Facebook: Kate Messner for more information and follow her on Twitter @katemessner.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2020
    Adopting a casual, colloquial tone, Messner dismantles one received truth after another, drawing on a variety of resources and evidence to give readers the "real-deal story of the Mayflower" and its storied passengers. Never underestimating the capacity of her readers, she begins with a brief history of the Reformation in England before following William Brewster's group of separatists as they eventually made their way to the shores of Massachusetts and seized Wampanoag land for their colony. Shifting tone as appropriate, copious sidebars include a discussion on the relative reliability of primary sources, the inglorious history of Plymouth Rock, and modern efforts to reclaim the Wampanoag language, W�pan�ak. Quotations from primary sources are presented in an antique-looking display type and then translated into modern English: " '[The mussels] caused us to cast and scour, but they were soon all well again.' --Edward Winslow / Translation: They threw up and had diarrhea but felt better in a while." Most notable is the care with which Messner covers relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag; her description of first contact is brilliant in its refusal to cast the Indigenous people as other: "After [Myles Standish and his party had] gone about a mile, they saw five or six people and a dog." Meconis' humorous cartoons--sometimes presented as comics-style paneled sequences--complement archival illustrations, which readers are frequently invited to examine critically. The second in the History Smashers series, Women's Right To Vote, publishes simultaneously. Critical, respectful, engaging: exemplary history for children. (author's note, further reading, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2020
    Grades 4-7 Challenging misconceptions with historical research, Messner proves that she's ready, willing, and entirely able to debunk almost everything you think you know about the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and the first Thanksgiving. Planning to bolster your beliefs with primary-source documents? Think again, since those letters and journal entries were written by recent immigrants to North America, Europeans who didn't understand the Wampanoag people's language or culture but arrogantly assumed that it was inferior to their own. Well-researched, entertaining, and packed with facts, this account begins with a group of English separatists attempting to flee to Holland and ends after King Philip's War in 1676, when the English colony's governor sold their defeated captives (men, women, and children) into slavery. Some elements extend the story into the twenty-first century: a sidebar explaining how a Wampanoag woman revitalized W�pan�ak, the traditional language of her people, and created an immersion school for the community's children. Photos, paintings, and cartoon-style drawings illustrate the text. Published simultaneously with Women's Right to Vote, it's a promising start for the History Smashers series.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal

    July 10, 2020

    Gr 4-7-The latest addition to "History Smashers" focuses on the Mayflower. Readers may think they know everything about the ship, the pilgrims, and the first Thanksgiving, but the text gently corrects assumptions with facts. Truthfully, there was no landing on Plymouth Rock and the settlers didn't call themselves pilgrims. The text presents a frank overview of the crossing of the Atlantic and what happened to the resident Indigenous people after the English settlers landed at Cape Cod. This series speaks directly to middle grade readers, generating and sustaining interest with attention-grabbing text and art (comics and sidebars). There is a little something for everyone in the presentation. Readers might want to compare the primary source entries with Messner's explanations as well as works of familiar, stylized art seen in museums and textbooks. VERDICT This illustrated nonfiction book would be a great addition to any middle school library looking to provide accurate, interesting nonfiction resources. -Kim Gardner, Fort Worth Country Day Sch., TX

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 10, 2020
    Opening the History Smashers series along with the simultaneously published History Smashers: Women’s Right to Vote, this entertaining, informative offering by Messner (The Next President) aims to decolonize the story of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. Drawing on historical documents and consultations with Linda Coombs, an Aquinnah Wampanoag educator and historian, Messner goes beyond the myths surrounding the English Separatists’ journey and gives context often left out of that history. Beginning with the English perspective (“Who Were the Pilgrims, Anyway?”), Messner describes what the sea voyage would have been like, what the travelers actually found when they arrived in what is now the U.S., and the Wampanoag people and culture native to the region the Separatists claimed for themselves. Messner also sheds light on the “first Thanksgiving” and packs the narrative full of historical quotes, helpfully translating history into accessible, contemporary speech. Historical paintings, as well as lighthearted, engaging black-and-white cartoon illustrations by Meconis, frequently in graphic novel–style panels, make complex and often grim history relevant to young readers. A cast list highlighting some individuals from the Mayflower rounds out this well-researched book, a multifaceted resource for any school or library. Back matter includes an author’s note and a bibliography. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12.

  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Critical, respectful, engaging: exemplary history for children."
  • New York Times Book Review "The book's format may be a good match for those with shorter attention spans, and permits it to be gratifyingly capacious in what it covers."
  • Booklist "Well-researched, entertaining, and packed with facts."
  • Shelf Awareness "A history book for middle-graders that should be on everyone's (child and adult) to-read list."
  • Candace Fleming, award-wining author "Kate Messner serves up fun, fast history for kids who want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Absolutely smashing!"
  • Chris Barton, award-winning author "Informative and fun, eye-opening and entertaining. I wish I could have read History Smashers when I was in elementary school. I would have devoured them and developed a big appetite for even more of this sort of truth-telling."

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    Random House Children's Books
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