Book Review: Voices from Colonial America, Massachusetts

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Also in This Series

• California
• Delaware
• Georgia
• Louisiana
• New Jersey
• New York
• Pennsylvania

Also on This Subject

• The 13 Colonies
• U.S. States
• The Making of the 50 States

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Massachusetts is the focal point for much discussion in Colonial America. This book illimunates the main and familiar points of that discussion and also shines light on some less well-known events. The result is a wonderful portrait of the vibrant, historic colony that Massachusetts was, from its beginning as a destination for immigrants in the early 1600s to its role in the bloodshed of the Revolutionary War.

Open the book and you are greeted with one of the more less well-known facts, that Maine was part of the Massachusetts colony. From there, the facts and figures come at you at a measured pace, augmented by interesting facts, compelling illustrations, and illuminating quotes.

This being a National Geographic book, it is filled with fascinating maps. One of the most fascinating of these is the Map of Wampanoag Territory. The Wampanoag, of course, were the tribe that sent representatives to meet with the Pilgrims. The map illustrates that the Wampanoag lived on a rather large stretch of land in what is now Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

The book does not avoid the topic of politics, as is all too common in discussions today. Rather, we learn that the Massachusetts Bay Colony wasn't one large group of people who all thought the same, worked the same, and worshiped the same. All aspects of colonial life are explored, including commerce, recreation, slavery, and the effects of foreign wars on life in America.

This book has a lot of text, but it never feels dry or boring. The narrative is compelling and encourages the reader to continue learning. The art is first-rate and complementary. The result is a rewarding learning experience, from cover to cover.

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White