Thanksgiving: The True Story
By Penny Colman
Henry Holt, 2008. 149 pgs. Teen Nonfiction
Although most Americans have probably learned that the "first" Thanksgiving, and the beginning of our current Thanksgiving traditions, was the story of Pilgrims and Squanto, Colman shows that there are at least twelve different claims of the first Thanksgiving. She briefly addresses some of them and shows how long-standing traditions of harvest festivals and general thanksgiving days, as well as the push of activist Sarah Hale all contributed to our holiday and how U.S. Presidents, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, declared national days of thanksgiving, but it wasn't until an act of Congress in the 1940s that Thanksgiving became a national holiday. The second half of the book focuses on Thanksgiving traditions.
I liked the first half of the book better than the second, but overall, it was interesting and informative--and not too long, for those readers who only have time for a short history at this busy time of year.