The first book we discussed in the Ribbon Book Club was A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple written by Katherine Lasky, and published in 1996 by Scholastic books.
Part 1 of our series focuses on the first half of the book which takes place onboard the Mayflower in 1620. We meet Remember Patience Whipple (Mem), a 12-year-old pilgrim who is traveling with her parents and baby sister, Blessing. She tells the story of how their group of separatists, or "saints," traveled to the Netherlands to escape persecution by the Church of England. Not satisfied with life in the Netherlands, the pilgrims worked out a business arrangement with England to travel to North America and colonize the "New World."
On board, we meet Mem's friend, Humility (Hummy), and a young servant named Will. We learn about life on board the Mayflower: the seasickness, tedium, and storms. There is new life and tragic death. Tune in to part 1 to hear more about Mem's journey aboard the Mayflower:
In Part 2, we learn what happened to the pilgrims when they reached land. The first winter was very hard on the pilgrims, including Mem's family. Tune in to hear about the joys and struggles Mem faced in her new life in North America, including her interactions with indigenous characters, Samoset and Squanto:
In Part 3 we talked to Tom Begley, from Plimoth Patuxet Museums! He had a ton of great insight into the real history of the pilgrims in Plimoth, their first winter in the settlement, and their interactions with the local indigenous tribes. Tom also shared his thoughts on writing historical fiction for young readers and gave us some great reading recommendations! Tune in below and read on to see his book recommendations.
Here are some recommendations for further reading! Click on an image to find out where you can get your own copy.