A Journey To The New World, The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple

I have to cleanse my palate with something not horrifyingly bad after the past couple of books, so I thought I would go with a much-beloved classic Dear America instead.

Book: A Journey to the New World, The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple: Mayflower, 1620, Kathryn Lasky, 1996.


Kathryn Lasky is one of my favourite Dear America authors, and this is the very first book published in the series and an awesome kickoff. Basically all American schoolkids grow up with the story of the Pilgrims, as flawed and full of holes as it is, and this is an interesting introduction to how, you know, there’s More To The Story than that. I also must confess that this book came out right around the time I was in Grade 4 and we did a unit on the Pilgrims and we all got “Pilgrim names” and referred to each other by those names for like, three months, and this book was like my Bible at that point.

Remember, or Mem as she is called, is twelve years old and going to the New World with her mother and father and baby sister, Blessing. They’re all “Saints,” or members of a church in religious revolt from King James, but the most important thing in the first couple of pages is that Mem and everyone else is just sick as a dog and vomiting copiously. Ah, truth in history. Continue reading

Bridie of the Wild Rose Inn

For this one, I wanted to find something truly egregious, a real example of the trash that was published in the 90s, and this absolutely did not disappoint.

The Book: Bridie of the Wild Rose Inn, by Jennifer Armstrong, 1994. It’s one of those books where the cover tells you exactly how bad it’s going to be. “Includes your own elegant rose stencil,” the cover says! I got these books secondhand so sadly there were no elegant rose stencils there for me, but oh, how I wish there was. I would have stenciled the crap out of my dresser.
So, the plot of this book is that “spirited Bridie,” a Scottish girl, has been waiting for a decade in Scotland to join her parents, who are living in Massachusetts Bay Colony and became Puritans. It involves witchcraft. You’re going to love it.
Continue reading