I have often told fifth graders I would not have been an explorer or a pioneer. This book confirms this statement. The graphics get the point across, but in an exaggerated cartoonish way. The graphics include timeline, a map, a labeled cross-section of the ship, and a pictorial tool glossary. There are “Handy Hints” in the upper right side bar of each page turn, such as, “Try not to get sick. If you die on the ship your body will be thrown overboard!” (page 19)
The book’s content begins with English Separatists first emigrating to Holland before going back to England and finally to America. There were originally two ships for the voyage, but one was so unseaworthy it was left behind. The people still willing to go to America were all put onto a now very crowded Mayflower. Eighteen people did decide to stay in England. The trip itself was hard, but then” Your first sight of the new colony is a shock. There is nothing except trees and wilderness. This is the first time you understand how hard it will be to build a new life in America. At times you regret ever leaving England.” ( page 24) Plus, the women stayed on board the Mayflower tending the sick for months until the 7 houses, 4 store-houses, and a “gun platform” are built.
Fast forward to the present, ” It is estimated that 35 million Americans-12 % of the total population- are direct descendants of the first Mayflower Pilgrims.” (p. 28) There is a replica in Plymouth of the Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower.
This is the Revised Edition.