Giving Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday
Around the world, in all cultures, throughout time, people felt gratitude for many things and found ways to give thanks. In the United States, there used to be many different days for giving thanks in different towns and at different times. In the mid-1800s, Sarah Josepha Hale thought it would be a good idea if the country had one specific day as a day of thanksgiving. She wrote articles and essays about this and even wrote to several different presidents. Nothing came of any of this until she wrote to President Abraham Lincoln at the height of the Civil War. Lincoln agreed with Hale and declared a day of national Thanksgiving, which is how our holiday became official.
Denise Kiernan has written an interesting story about Thanksgiving that forgoes the usual Pilgrims and Native Americans’ harvest meal and takes readers directly to what became our modern-day Thanksgiving. It is a refreshing and unexpected take, one that teachers and parents will appreciate, along with the youngsters. The illustrations by Jamey Christoph are done in muted, autumn colors and filled with lots of details, to support the story. This will be an excellent addition to libraries, classrooms, and family collections.
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