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Thanksgiving Reads

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Five Books to Feast on This Month

There is just something about Thanksgiving that feels warm and cozy. The familiar meal filled with family recipes passed down from generation to generation, the sound of football games and Macy Day Parades, the crisp cool air, and hot pumpkin spiced things. A time to gather and a time to be grateful.

It's a holiday that doesn't get enough credit and doesn't have a lot of stories centered around it. However, if you are looking for something to get you in the mood for gratitude, here are a few suggestions.

1.) The Boxcar Children and The Great Turkey Heist by Gertrude Chandler Warner

In my opinion, there is never a bad time to read the Boxcar Children. This series is a childhood favorite of mine, and I still find joy in the adventures these siblings find themselves on.

So, when I saw this Thanksgiving-themed edition, I had to give it a read. It did not disappoint. There is suspense, kindness, and a perfect amount of cheesy humor I have grown to love from the series. This story stands alone, and you do not need to have read the other books to enjoy it. It is a short read, perfect for kids, and fun for adults too.

Summary: There is a new restaurant opening in Greenfield, and the Alden children can't wait to help the owner open a food pantry. They volunteer to collect donations and put-up signs. They even come up with an idea to offer a free Thanksgiving dinner for the whole town.

However, it gets difficult when someone keeps moving the signs, vandalizes the building, and even steals the giant turkey which was meant for the feast. The Boxcar Children are on the case but unsure of who to trust, and in a race against the clock, will they be able to solve the mystery in time?

2.) An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott

This wonderfully sweet story is perfect for putting you in the mood for food, family, and fun. It has a classic feeling and is a wonderful reminder of what can be accomplished when families come together.

Summary: This is a short story by Louisa May Alcott that first appeared in the collection Aunt Jo's Scrap Bag. It is set in New Hampshire in the 1800s. It is a simple, yet charming story of a family Thanksgiving in a time much different than our own, yet with a timeless, feel-good vibe.

When their parents are called away to visit a sick relative, the girls try to put together a Thanksgiving dinner all on their own. Of course, a few things go askew, as this is the first time they have cooked such a big dinner, but through the process, they learn that there’s much to be thankful for.

3.) Murder She Wrote: A Fatal Feast by Jessica Fletcher

When I set out to write this article, I did not intend to share children's books primarily, yet that is just the way it worked out. However, if you are in the mood for something a little more mature, with writing vibes and a bit of mystery to go with your thanksgiving meal, I definitely recommend giving this book a read.

Summary: Jessica Fletcher was really hoping for a nice relaxing Thanksgiving in Cabot Cove this year. But instead, she ends up with more on her plate than she bargained for.

Jessica is struggling with an uncharacteristic case of writer's block, and the deadline for her novel is just around the corner. Also, her friend, Scotland Yard Inspector George Sutherland, is visiting from London to experience the American holiday. But most distressing of all, Jessica is hosting Thanksgiving dinner at her home for a guest list that just keeps growing.

Jessica perseveres, and the dinner turns out wonderfully. She couldn't be happier. Until she and George take a post-turkey stroll and stumble upon the body of a man with a carving knife stuck in his chest...

4.) Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

An interesting read for adults and children alike, this is the true story of the puppeteer who began the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Summary: Melissa Sweet, does a wonderful job bringing to life the inspirational story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer who invented the giant balloons floating in the sky during the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Caldecott Honor artist brilliantly captures the essence of Tony Sarg, a self-taught immigrant with a fascinating imagination.

5.) Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp

Oh, how this story touched my heart the first time I read it. It is full of reverential respect and gratitude for this earth, every living thing on it, and the Great Spirit who has given it to us all. I highly recommend listening to the audio version of this book, where Chief Jake Swamp recites it in the native Mohawk Language. It is wonderful to experience it with children or around the table as a family in remembrance of all the people and creations of this earth that we can be grateful for.

Summary: "Giving Thanks" is a special children's version of the Thanksgiving Address, a message of gratitude that originated with the Native people of upstate New York and Canada and that is still spoken at ceremonial gatherings held by the Iroquois, or Six Nations.

Hope these reads help to add some extra joy to your Thanksgiving holiday!

If you have any book recommendations to go with turkey day, I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.

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