Books on the Puritans, William Penn, the Iriquois
Puritan books will open up a new understanding of this group of early American settlers, letting us get a glimpse of their beliefs and ways of life.
After all, do your students really know what it means to be “puritanical”? There is a reason we have that word in the English language! And what better way to grasp these ideas than through historical fiction. The Scarlet Letter and The Witch of Blackbird Pond are two of the best puritan books based in the 1680’s and are hard to put down.
Along with that, there are some other fascinating topics in this section of the book list! For the 1690’s, Madeleine Takes Command is an amazing story based on real events involving the Iroquois in French Canada.
Whether it is Puritan books or something else, there are some great selections on these titles set in the 1600s.
The Walls of Cartagena by Julia Durango, illu. Tom Pohrt. Simon & Schuster, 2008. UE-JH
A young slave is fortunate to be well-treated, while others suffer the evils of slavery in the islands of the Caribbean. He uses his privileges to help others. Difficult topic, but with a happy ending. Caution: After a difficult childbirth, a woman is described as being “naked and covered in blood.” Boy calls an adult an a**, although it is considered humorous.
Living History Books: America 1680s
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. HS
The story of Puritan society and their less-than-kind treatment of an adulterous woman. A classic.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. UE+
Orphaned Kit moves to New England to live with her Puritan aunt and uncle, and finds it difficult to adjust to their stern ways. Befriending a woman who is rejected by the community as a witch results in more trouble than she could have imagined.
Living History Books: America 1690s
Hostage on the Nighthawk: Governor William Penn (Trailblazer Books) by Dave & Neta Jackson. E-JH
Christian historical fiction. William Penn.
If You Lived in Colonial Times by Ann McGovern, illus. June Otani. E-UE
Madeleine Takes Command by Ethel C. Brill, illus. Bruce Adams. Bethlehem Books. UE+
Set in French Canada, Madeleine and her 2 younger brothers are part of a small group left at the fort when the Iroquois attack. Based on a true story.