Books We Read: Plymouth and the Progress of a Pilgrim


This week, we studied the Puritans in New England and enjoyed reading an annotated version of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

Next week, we’re looking at the English Civil War, and studying John Bunyan (which fits well, as he fought in the Civil War).  Look for that post next Friday!

(Again, this isn’t a comprehensive list of our resources… just some of the extra reading we enjoyed.)

Plymouth Pioneers, Colleen L. Reece (Historical Fiction, Grades 4-6)

John and Sarah Smythe struggle through their first year living in Plymouth with their parents, Miles Standish, John Bradford, and other famous Mayflower passengers.  They meet Samoset, Squanto, Massasoit, and Hobomok, celebrating the first Thanksgiving with their new allies and friends.  This is a charming book which addresses character issues and salvation, as well as the historical happenings in the Plymouth Colony.

This is book #2 in The American Adventure series – 48 consecutive books from Barbour.  Though the series is out of print, it was produced in the late 1990′s, and there are still lots of copies floating around.  I got most of mine in a large lot on eBay.  When I’m looking for a series, that’s my favorite way to buy, as it really lowers the cost of shipping (per book).

Pilgrim’s Progress, Retold by Jean Watson   (Allegory, Grades 3-5)

We really enjoyed this introduction to The Pilgrim’s Progress.  Ms. Watson’s version is just 10 readable chapters long, holds well to the main points of the original story, and conveys the overall plot of John Bunyan’s classic in mature, yet understandable, vocabulary.  The version we have was published by Zondervan in 1979 and contains engaging pen and ink pictures by Peter Wane.  One day, I’d love to read the actual story to our boys, however, this was nice for a week-long introduction.

Galatians (The Bible!)

I love Galatians.  For me, it is a book of grace, freedom and spiritual fruit.  The boys felt (again) that Paul was very critical.  I suppose he was.  I’ve always rejoiced in the message, rather than reeled from the rebuke.  For me, this is an interesting manner to conduct Bible.  The boys are reading 2 chapters a day on their own, and we’re allowing the Holy Spirit to communicate to them, answering their questions when they arise.  We also do more guided teaching, but it’s fun to watch their own exploration of God’s Word.

What did your family read last week?

~ Danika Cooley

Danika Cooley is a freelance children’s writer with a love for God’s Word, history, wisdom and small people. Her work has appeared in magazines including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr., Pockets, Devozine, Keys for Kids, and Cobblestone Group’s FACES and Odyssey and in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *