School Library JournalGr 4-6-Barrett clearly states that she is describing the lives of the children of the European settlers, not the very different lives of the Native American youngsters or the children of slaves. With this established, she proceeds to describe early homes, care of infants, clothing, chores, education, food, and recreation. She then gives overviews of the life of a typical child of Plymouth and of Virginia. Illustrated with photos and reproductions, the book covers much the same ground as Barbara Brenner's If You Were There in 1776 (Bradbury, 1994) and John Warner's Colonial American Home Life (Watts, 1993), which is for a slightly older audience. However, some of Barrett's information about infant care is not included in them, or other titles. A nice supplement where multiple titles on the subject are needed.-Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA
Susan Dove LempkeOnce Barrett gets past the explanations of who is included in the book and why (she notes that Native Americans were so different from the immigrants that they need their own book and that information on African American children is limited), the fascinating differences between the lives of children in the colonial period and the present begin to surface. She contrasts the settlements of Plymouth in the North and Chesapeake in the South and divides the book into two sections, devoting the first to everyday details of life, and the second to the theories behind rearing children. Of keenest interest to modern readers will be the chapters on houses, clothing, everyday chores, and recreation, in which Barrett sprinkles her text with many interesting details (Education, religion, and discipline are covered as well). Paintings, sketches, and other illustrations are used throughout. With an attractive cover, a reading list, and a bibliography, this makes a good choice for reports or pleasure reading.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews