For years, when November rolled around we started one of several Thanksgiving-themed books to take us through Thanksgiving Day. Here are our favorite books to read aloud in November — old ones and new favorites — along with a few suggestions for making this work for your family:
- Decide how many days you will have to read a few favorite titles.
- Pick the number of books you think you’ll be able to read through during that time.
- Divide the total number of chapters (section breaks or other stops also work) by the number of days you have available to determine how far you will need to read each day to finish on time.
If you have done this for a few years, everyone will likely have their favorite book, and tradition will likely require a few particular reads. Don’t forget to include these extra special favorites — making memories will be more important than covering material.
6 Favorite Thanksgiving Read-Alouds
1. Stories of the Pilgrims
by Margaret B. Pumphrey
One of those perpetual favorites in our home to be read each year. Tells the story of the Pilgrims’ voyage and adventures in the new land. There are many different versions available including one in the public domain illustrated by the author of the Little Twins series. Read our full review with activities and links to the free public domain download.
2. Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey
This was a wonderful change of pace one year. The warm, beautiful illustrations match the tone as the author describes the Pilgrims’ gratefulness through their difficulties. One way to encourage our children to have grateful hearts! Read our full review.
3. “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” by Louisa May Alcott
Another one of those favorites around here. Short story by beloved author where children make their own Thanksgiving…or try…. If you are still looking for more material, you may also enjoy the six other Thanksgiving short stories that we rounded up.
4. Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims
by Clyde Robert Bulla
Family favorite by a favorite author that tells the story of the Indian who befriended the Pilgrims.
5. Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
A fun tie-in about a dog who is stolen on Thanksgiving Day. Written in 1951 by the author of the popular Moffat series, this one has all of the trademarks of an exceptional children’s book — well-defined and interesting characters, appealing language, fun illustrations, and a book that appeals on some level to adults as well as to children — everything you would expect from a Newbery Medal winner. Read our full review with go-along activities.
6. The Children’s Book of Thanksgiving Stories ed. Asa Don Dickinson
Thirty-one short stories that can be shared by the entire family. Not all of these stories will fit each family, but you should have enough material to work with to round out your Thanksgiving read-aloud schedule. Read our full review, where you will find links to the free public domain download.