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NONFICTION

History Smashers: The Mayflower

Random. (History Smashers). Jul. 2020. 224p. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9780593120316.
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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.

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