Thanksgiving Books for 5 Different Audiences

by | Nov 3, 2022

Whether you live in a warm climate and fall feels the same as summertime, or you live in a colder climate and Thanksgiving feels like crisp air, colorful leaves, and hot drinks, it’s fun to read books that contribute to the season.

Spooky season is past and it’s time to transition into those Thanksgiving decorations, pumpkin pie, hot tea, and a great book. While you may have your year-round favorites, titles you return to at least yearly, we want to offer some new ones.

Thanksgiving books, believe it or not, exist for pretty much all readers. In this article, we break down this sub-genre via age:

Even if you’re a university history teacher, you may find yourself intrigued in the young adult titles listed, or the easy read of a classic, middle grade book. Are you an adult looking to further your self-education? Try the History Buff section and choose a book or two from there.

That said, let’s start with books for kids!

Thanksgiving Books For Kids

It’s vital to get kids interested in books from a young age, and this list is both engaging as well as a great learning experience for smaller readers.

  • Thankful Things, Dr. Seuss
  • Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, Melissa Sweet
  • Thanks for Nothing, Ryan T. Higgins
  • We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, Traci Sorell and Frane Lessac
  • Thank You, Omu!, Oge Mora
  • The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings, Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
  • The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving, Ann McGovern
  • 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving: A New Look at Thanksgiving, Catherine O’Neill Grace

This list can help get the younger children in your life in the reading mood, while teaching them important aspects of this season.

Middle Grade

American Adventure Series

This book series is a classic, can be found on Amazon, Thrift Books, etc., and follows children through history, year by year. Covering the main events of American history, this is a great series for middle grade readers who want to put themselves into the adventures of the past.

Sisters In Time Series

Similar to the American Adventure books, this is a great series for parents or guardians who want to educate as well as entertain through reading. With strong, female protagonists, these stories are led by fictional heroines based on true events.

Young Adult

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor

Winner of the Newbery Medal, this book follows the journey of young Cassie Logan who learns to grow up in a single year, amidst the Great Depression, racism, and social injustice.

Secrets So Deep, Ginny Myers Sain

Romance, pain, and a haunting page-turner, follow 17-year-old Avril to acting camp and a truth she didn’t think she’d ever know.

The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan

Enter the playing field of Derrywood Park on September second. Discover an object on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens on October thirty-first. Follow Anthony Peardew’s unique story and find its meaning between the pages. You might be surprised.

History Buffs

The Doctor’s Daughter, Shari J. Ryan

Auschwitz, 1941, Nazi-occupied Poland. Sofia’s mother is Jewish. Her father works as a doctor for the SS. Follow Sofia’s emotional journey in this historical fiction that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

1491, Charles C. Mann

Read 1491 as Mann dispels the myth of Columbus’s discovery and adds in the important details we often miss: how the various civilizations lived before Columbus. Mann covers those residing in North, Central, and South America. He explains their customs, cultures, and through his book helps their way of life not be forgotten.

Dunkirk, Joshua Levine

Joshua Levine was the official historian for the film after the same title. Read his book, which covers the 1940 race against time as over 300,000 Allied soldiers must evacuate across the Channel.

The History of the Ancient World, Susan Wise Bauer

Learn about Sumer, Egypt, India, China, Greece, Mesopotamia, and Rome in Bauer’s largel, educational read. While it’s described as a great way to restart your education, this 900 page book is not for the faint of heart.

Adult Fiction

Love Come Softly, Janette Oke

Ready to cozy up with a warm blanket, travel back through time, and enter a story of loss, survival, and love? Janette Oke’s series is a great place to start!

An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, Louisa May Alcott

You may know Louisa May Alcott for her masterpiece, Little Women, but she wrote more than just this novel. Broaden your understanding of this historical author and try this heartwarming tale.

Daisy Darker, Alice Feeney

Want to spice up the holiday with a thrilling murder mystery? Look no further. Enter an old estate and strange family and keep turning pages until the end.

The Secret History, Donna Tartt

Pretend you’re back in college, or going for the first time, but to New England. Add in a murder mystery twist for what would seem like an easy read, and you’re in for a fall treat you won’t want to put down.

Bonus List

Just in case you want to broaden your search, here is a list of fan-favorites, and for good reason. With many of them either a major motion picture, in the works to become one, or a bestseller, these books are great to settle in with for a fall night:

  • A Gentleman In Moscow, Amor Towles, mega bestseller, soon to be a major series
  • All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
  • The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestseller, Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, and soon to be a major motion picture
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, now a major motion picture
  • Where The Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens, now a major motion picture
  • The Boys In The Boat, Daniel James Brown, #1 New York Times bestseller

And that sums up our fall reading list. Of course, this list barely scratches the surface of genre, demographic, or age.

There are millions of titles to choose from and authors galore. As you go about putting your fall reading list together, consider the following questions to help broaden your reading:

  • Who is my favorite author? Who should I read to round myself out?
  • What are my top three favorite books? Why?
  • What voice do I usually read? How can I branch out?
  • Which list did I gloss over, and should I maybe pay more attention to it?
  • What books do I find myself going to again and again? What do I like about them?
  • What type of writer am I? What type of writing should I therefore read more of? (For more on common genres, read this article.)

Enjoy taking a trip to your local library, browsing through Amazon, or sipping a hot coffee as you walk the aisles at Barnes & Noble. We’d love to hear which titles you add to your list for this season!

Are any of them the ones listed above? Which ones have you already read? Have fun tackling some new reads this fall, take advantage of the extra reading time the holiday presents, and as always, don’t forget to keep writing!

Trying to get into the writing habit this fall? Be sure to check these fall writing prompts.

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