Title: Puritan Adventure
Author: Lois Lenski
Major Themes: Frontier Life, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Puritans
Synopsis: Seaborn and Comfort’s Aunt Charity arrives in New England, and upsets the whole town.
A few months ago, one of my sons needed more books to read to himself. He got interested in Lois Lenski’s books, and thought maybe he’d be able to read them, so I bought several used copies. Unfortunately, they were above his reading level, but all the boys were interested in them, so I’m reading them aloud. Our latest was Puritan Adventure.
The Partridge family lives in a Massachusetts Bay Colony settlement. One day, Seaborn and his sister Comfort are very excited to see their Aunt Charity arrive on a ship that has just docked. Aunt Charity dresses much more prettily than their mother or the other women of the settlement, and she has such interesting stories and ideas. Soon, all the children of the settlement love her—but the adults are not so happy.
Aunt Charity is aghast to learn that the children in New England know nothing about the way Christmas is celebrated in Old England, so she teaches them about it. Then, she teaches them to go a-shrovin’ on Shrove Tuesday, and the tithing man is horrified again. Aunt Charity is in constant conflict with the leaders of the town, and frequently trying to defend a servant girl who gets herself into trouble all the time. When they are brought before the town elders for judgment, will they be sentenced to be sent to be sent back to Old England on the next ship?
If you are studying the Pilgrims, or Colonial America, Puritan Adventure is a great, fun addition to the study. It’s fun to read the dialect, too; Lois Lenski is an expert at writing in dialect. This book doesn’t seem to be in print anymore, but should be readily available used, online.
WARNING: A wolf attacks the animals of the settlement a couple of times; might be too graphic for young, sensitive children. Also, punishments such as whipping are mentioned.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15