Book Review: Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla (Three Stars)

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Book Review: Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla

(Three Stars)

“The Indian boy lay hidden in the tall grass.”

Sugar-coated version of contact between native Americans and English explorers and settlers. A young reader’s book published in 1954. Disregarding all the historical inaccuracies—not to mention politically incorrect vocabulary—it still serves its function to entertain as well as, perhaps, encourage further reading.

Little is actually known about the native American who, speaking English, welcomed the Pilgrims at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. Intense journalists that the Pilgrims were, his role with them is well documented. Before that, not so much. Bulla’s version is supported by some evidence, though it differs from the “received wisdom” of Wikipedia.

Further, the text is flawed by inconsistencies and impossibilities which knock a mature reader out of the story, but probably won’t bother an eight to ten-year-old.

Excellent illustrations by Peter Burchard.

“This is my home.” “Were you talking to the trees?” asked John Billington. “That’s foolish, if you were. A tree doesn’t know what you’re saying.” But the little girls put her hand in Squanto’s, as if she understood.

1 thought on “Book Review: Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla (Three Stars)

  1. When I saw the name Squanto I recognized it from 5th or 6th grade! Not into sugar coating, but it’s interesting!

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