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Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27): 09/02/10
Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne was the book that killed my son's interest in the series. It seems that every series feels the temptation to do an issue, book or episode for the major holidays. This book sends Jack and Annie to experience a thanksgiving feast with the Pilgrims.
Yes, there were pilgrims. Yes they got help from the local indigenous population. But the holiday we celebrate now on the fourth Thursday of November evolved over time and except for sentimentality has nothing to do with that first feast.
So Jack and Annie go back the pilgrims and make a dogs breakfast out of trying to help prepare for the meal. I get that they are children but they were completely useless, more so than usual. My son who was going on seven at the time that we read the book was shocked at how little they know. He's grown up in an urban setting his entire life but he has more domestic life skills than both children combined.
Frankly it would have been more interesting, unique and educational to have sent Jack and Annie back to 1941 when Congress designated the fourth Thursday as a national holiday of Thanksgiving. I bet most kids don't know that part of the story. It would certainly be refreshing compared to yet another rehashing of the same old Pilgrim story.
Other Magic Tree House books reviewed here: