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Item - The First Settlers

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Series: Time Traveler — no. 3
Translated Into: Los primeros colonos (Spanish)
Author: Gaskin, Carol
Illustrators: Fastner, Steve (cover)
Pierard, John (interior)
Nino, Alex (interior)
Date: March, 1987
ISBN: 0553154834 / 9780553154832
Length: 80 pages (plus instructions and data)
Number of Endings: 1
User Summary: You visit the Pilgrims in an effort to meet Miles Standish and participate in the first Thanksgiving.
Demian's Thoughts:

This book, the second in a row from Carol Gaskin, is rather more mundane than the previous one. It's a fairly straightforward presentation of a fairly well-known bit of history. Things are spiced up a little thanks to the fairly frequent dropping of names of historical figures (this book could certainly be a starting point for considerable research), and some twists of the plot effectively present the difficulty of the Mayflower's voyage and smoothly convey interesting facts (such as, for example, the origin of the phrase "flash in the pan"). The biggest problem with the book is that one of its main objectives is to meet Miles Standish, but while he's certainly present in the book, he never really comes across as an interesting or defined character; he's just a jolly red-faced guy who almost compulsively shoots at birds. This is almost certainly because subtle characterization wasn't considered a priority for this series' target age group, but it's disappointing nonetheless. It seems that an underestimation (in my opinion) of the abilities of the audience is the main reason why this series is so uniformly inferior to the Time Machine books from which it spun off.

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