It’s November 2 and many of us here in the States (I say this for our readers in other parts of the world)  are thinking about Thanksgiving Day which this year will be on November 27. For some of us, as for some of you, it has been a roller-coaster year, but we are recounting to ourselves and each other the wonder of God and His gifts to us.

One of the great gifts that God gave to the first thanksgiving celebrants was the Native American Squanto. His story and how God used his adversities to help others truly deserves the word “awesome.” Carol found a book a couple of years ago about Squanto which your family might enjoy.  I posted about it then and I think it is worth posting now in case you didn’t see it. — Nancy

Carol’s Review:

Fall leaves are turning color; winter chill is in the air. Soon Thanksgiving will be here. Unfortunately, most schools will be telling our children the Pilgrims thanked the Indians, not God for seeing them through a bitter winter.

Gary Metaxas’ book, Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving, (Thomas Nelson, 1999) does more than counteract this half truth. Metaxas shows that God’s hand and not coincidence was behind this amazing true story in America’s early history.

In 1608 slave traders captured Squanto, a Native American, and several other young Patuxet braves and took them to Spain. Squanto was sold to a monk, who taught him about God and how he could trust in Him for the good that would come. Five years later Squanto, with the monk’s help, traveled to London–the first leg of realizing his dream to return to America. Here, a London merchant taught him English and about the great chief, King James I. Finally, after another five years Squanto was going home but there was one more interruption–a layover until spring in Newfoundland.

Tears, not joy, were Squanto’s response to his return to America. A terrible illness had wiped out his entire tribe, forcing him to stay with a neighboring tribe. Disappointment and doubt drove him to live in the woods by himself where he made his peace with God.  Samoset, another Native American, told him that Englishmen, called Pilgrims, lived on the site of his family’s former village. Only God could have planned Squanto’s meeting with Governor Bradford and the Pilgrims who were looking for a home of their own. Readers will delight in the Pilgrims’ surprise when Squanto addressed them in English and worshipped the same God they did.

The author’s easy-flowing text contains a background drumbeat of suspense and sadness. The story  ends with a feast of food and faith. Shannon Stirnweis’ warm, colorful and realistic illustrations depict the darkness of the slave ship, the vividness of London and the homecoming to America’s wooded shores. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving would be great to read as an appetizer to your Thanksgiving dinner when the family gathers to give thanks.

Carol Green, a graduate of Northwestern, is married and the mother of three adult children. Her five grandchildren affectionately call her “Grams cracker.” She is the published author of many poems for both adults and children; three coloring books: God Gave Me Five, ABC Fun Book, and Color God’s World Bright; and the picture book: My Mom Loves Me.

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