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People have been giving thanks at harvest time for thousands of years.  Ancient Greece had a festival and brought gifts to the shrine of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest.  The Romans had a similar festival, but their goddess of the harvest was named Ceres.  The Hebrews had the Feast of the Booths.  The Christians in Europe said prayers to bless the plantings and reaping of the harvest.  When white people first came to North America the Native Americans had many harvest festivals such as “Green Corn Thanksgiving” and “Strawberry Thanksgiving”.  

Our first American national day of thanksgiving was proclaimed by our first president, George Washington, to give thanks for winning our freedom from England in the American Revolution.  But it didn’t become an annual holiday until 1863, when President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving.  He hoped it would bring a nation—that was broken in two by the civil war—together in a spirit of unity.  Today we come together with family and friends in that same spirit.


  1. It’s Thanksgiving*  by Jack Prelutsky
  2. Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey*  by Joy Cowley
  3. The Table Where Rich People Sit*  by Byrd Baylor
  4. Molly’s Pilgrim^   by  Barbara Cohen
  5. Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey’s Cautionary Tale  
         by Mary Jane & Herm Auch
  6. Amelia Bedelia Talks Turkey  by Herman Parish
  7. The Secret of Saying Thanks  by Douglas Wood
  8. Just So Thankful  by Mercer Mayer
  9. Thanks for Thanksgiving  by Julie Markes
  10. The Firefighter’s Thanksgiving by Maribeth Boelts
  11. The Perfect Thanksgiving  by Eileen Spinelli
  12. The Littlest Pilgrim  by Brandi Dougherty
  13. Thanksgiving at the Tappleton’s by Eileen Spinelli
  14. The Know-Nothings Talk Turkey by Michele Spirn
  15. Minnie & Moo and the Thanksgiving Tree  
         by Denys Cazet
  16. Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble  by Abby Klein (chpt)
  17. Thanksgiving on Thursday  by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House - chpt)
  18. The Story of Thanksgiving* by Robert Merrill Bartlett

Non-Fiction or Informational

  1. Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl  by Kate Waters
  2. Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage 
         by National Geographic
  3. 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving 
    by National Geographic
  4. Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims  
         by Clyde Robert Bulla
  5. Squanto and the First Thanksgiving  by Joyce Kessel
  6. The First Thanksgiving  by Linda Hayward
  7. Pilgrims by Mary Pope Osborne & Natalie Boyce
        (Magic Tree House Non-Fiction)
  8. The First Thanksgiving  
         by Susan Whitehurst (The Library of the Pilgrims)
  9. This is the Feast  by Diane Z. Shore

* also listed on the monthly flyer
^ previously read on StoryLine


Click here for a pdf version of the monthly flyer.

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