Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters, photographs by Russ Kendall
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When I was pregnant with my first daughter, my husband and I took a “last vacation before baby” trip to Boston. While we were browsing things to do there, I came across a listing for Plimoth Plantation. I told my husband that we HAD to go there, because of a book I had when I was a kid.
The book was Sarah Morton’s Day by Kate Waters. In it, photographs show a day in the life of a girl living in Plimoth Colony in 1627. She tends chickens, helps her mother cook over an open fire, and mucks the garden. I was fascinated by all the layers of clothes she wore — three petticoats! — and her pilgrim vernacular. It gave me a glimpse into how hard life was without modern conveniences, far from any other villages. It also helped me think of the pilgrims as real people with real faces, not just a vague concept. Sarah Morton was just like me … except that I’ve never polished a brass kettle or drawn water from the spring. It brought Plimoth Colony to life so clearly that I still wanted to visit twenty years later!
While Sarah Morton was a real girl, the photographs of her, obviously, are not. The pictures are of an actor at Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. There are three other books about real kids living in (or near) Plimoth Plantation that are also still in print and well worth a study.
(part of the Plimoth Plantation museum is the Wampanoag village near the pilgrim settlement, a wonderful glimpse into the two different cultures in the same setting.)
On the Mayflower: Voyage of the Ship’s Apprentice and a Passenger Girl
All recommended for ages 5-10.
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Source: Purchased by my mom many years ago. 🙂
Laura Jewell is a mom to three young readers in Richardson. She was a children’s librarian at a public library before deciding to stay home with her girls.