Book Review: On the Mayflower

Rating: ★★★★☆

This is the fourth in a series of unusual historical-reenactment stories by Kate Waters. Each is a simple, fictional narrative told from the first-person perspective. They’re illustrated with photographs of reenactors in period costumes, on the site of a historical restoration. This story takes place on the Mayflower II, a reproduction of the original merchant ship.

When I first encountered these stories, I frankly didn’t love them. The lighting in the photographs could be improved, and while the text reflects the flavor of 17th-century English, the story quality isn’t incredible.  However, the great feature of this story is its carefully-researched setting and costumes. Many scenes evoke the feeling of actually being there. The Pilgrims shivering in the ‘tween decks make the reader feel cold and scratchy, and the sight of a boy caulking storm-wrought leaks in the dark hold gives a sense of the dread those leaks inspired.  If you’re not able to actually visit the real Plimoth Plantation, this is the next best thing. It’s a really nice supplement to a study of the Pilgrims.

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Publication Information: Waters, Kate. On the Mayflower: Voyage of the Ship's Apprentice & a Passenger Girl. Kendall, Russ (Photographer). Kate Waters Historical Reenactments; Scholastic. 1996. ISBN: 9780590673082.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08
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Posted on November 14, 2014


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