Monday, January 22, 2007

A Journey to the New World

by Kathryn Lasky

This is the first book of the Dear America series that I have read. My elder daughter has loved the series for years, but apart from peeking at some of the historical information in the back of the book, I've never read one. Until now, of course. My younger daughter is learning about the Pilgrims, so as a dutiful teacher, I feel obliged to read the same books she has to read. This one's the diary of a Puritan lass named Remember Patience Whipple. She's sailing aboard the Mayflower with her parents and young sister, heading toward a new life in America. I had mixed feelings about the book. On one hand, it was a bit heavy handed with the history. In the first entry, Remember gives us the dimensions of the Mayflower as well as a definition of the "Saints", the group to whom she belongs. I find it hard to believe that a twelve-year-old girl would bother to record this information unless, of course, she was secretly trying to entice her reader to learn some history. On the other hand, a few entries later Remember lists synonyms for vomit--something I would expect to find in a pre-teen's diary. So the story's not a perfect disguise for the history lesson, but Ms. Lasky has made a good attempt. The story is good enough for me to let my girls check it out.
LibraryThing link

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