19 Diverse and Thoughtful Thanksgiving Books for the Classroom

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on gratitude and teach children about the history and cultural significance of this holiday. One effective way to engage students in learning is through literature. By including diverse and thoughtful Thanksgiving books in the classroom, educators can inspire discussions on different perspectives, traditions, and experiences related to this holiday.

  1. “1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving” by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac – This book provides a fresh perspective on the first Thanksgiving, exploring the impact of the Wampanoag tribe and their contributions to the feast.
  2. “Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks” by Margaret Sutherland – This book emphasizes the importance of gratitude and showcases various things to be thankful for during Thanksgiving.
  3. “Thanksgiving in the Woods” by Phyllis Alsdurf – Set in upstate New York, this book tells the heartwarming story of a family and community coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving in nature.
  4. “Gracias, The Thanksgiving Turkey” by Joy Cowley – Follow the adventures of a live turkey named Gracias as he finds himself in a unique position during Thanksgiving.
  5. “Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving” by Joseph Bruchac – Delve into the fascinating story of Squanto, a Native American who helped the Pilgrims during their first Thanksgiving.
  6. “The Very First Americans” by Cara Ashrose – This book introduces young readers to the Native American tribes who lived in North America long before the arrival of the Pilgrims.
  7. “All the World” by Liz Garton Scanlon – While not specifically about Thanksgiving, this poetic book celebrates love, unity, and the interconnectedness of all things.
  1. “November” by Cynthia Rylant – Through beautiful illustrations, this book captures the essence of autumn and the anticipation of the holiday season, including Thanksgiving.
  2. “Pilgrims: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #27: Thanksgiving on Thursday” by Mary Pope Osborne – Perfect for young readers, this nonfiction companion provides additional facts about the Pilgrims and their first Thanksgiving.
  3. “Our Thankful Turkey” by Terri Sloat – Join a classroom of children as they make their own thankful turkey and express gratitude for the things that matter to them.
  4. “Dinosaur Thanksgiving” by Liza Donnelly – Dive into a playful and imaginative story where dinosaurs celebrate Thanksgiving with their own twist.
  5. “Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving” by Laurie Halse Anderson – Discover the remarkable story of Sarah Josepha Hale, an advocate for Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday.
  6. “Molly’s Pilgrim” by Barbara Cohen – This book explores the experiences of a young Jewish immigrant in America and how they celebrate Thanksgiving in their own unique way.
  7. “Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'” by Eileen Spinelli – Join the Tappletons as they navigate through various mishaps and create their own definition of a perfect Thanksgiving.
  8. “A Turkey for Thanksgiving” by Eve Bunting – This heartwarming tale follows a bear who wishes to have a turkey for Thanksgiving, not realizing his turkey friend is already invited.
  9. “Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message” by Chief Jake Swamp – Based on an Iroquois message of gratitude, this book encourages appreciation for the world and all living things.
  10. “The Thanksgiving Door” by Debby Atwell – Follow the ups and downs of a newly arrived immigrant family as they experience Thanksgiving for the first time.
  11. “Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving” by Peter and Connie Roop – This book provides a comprehensive overview of the history, customs, and traditions associated with Thanksgiving.
  12. “Thanksgiving on Thursday” by Mary Pope Osborne – Join Jack and Annie on an adventure back in time to experience the first Thanksgiving firsthand.

By incorporating these diverse and thoughtful Thanksgiving books into the classroom, educators can foster meaningful discussions, promote cultural understanding, and emphasize the importance of gratitude during this holiday season. Happy reading and happy Thanksgiving!