Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dear America -- A Journey to the New World -- The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple -- Mayflower, 1620

While browsing through our neighborhood used bookstore, I discovered a couple of "Dear America" books. I had noticed this series of books before but they seemed to be completely overshadowed by the "American Girl" series. So, I decided to give them a go for the Young Reader's Challenge and bought both. The first that I have read is "A Journey to the New World -- The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple -- Mayflower, 1620."

The book is written in a diary format which makes it very easy to read. The main character is Remember Patience Whipple, a young girl of about twelve. The book is an account of "Mem's" journey across the Atlantic, the landing at Cape Cod, and the building of the Plimoth Settlement. The depictions are graphic enough to get the point across but not so graphic to be unsuitable. The language is a bit advanced to be realistic for a young girl in that time period but it reads well.

The things that I enjoyed most about the book were at the end! The epilogue, of course, finished the story of Mem and how her history evolved. Then, there is an addendum entitled "Life in America in 1620". This is comprised of actual historical facts as well as pictures, census of sorts, maps and a copy of the Mayflower Compact.

I would recommend this book for ages 8+. It is a tidy little book, great cover, hard-bound with a ribbon bookmark. Very suitable for a library shelf. I am going to donate this copy to my daughter's 8th grade American History classroom.