Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The text is readable, the photographs are handsome, and the material has been meticulously researched for accuracy."-horn bk
"A good job of dramatizing what life might have been like for the Wampanoags."-bk list
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-By following a boy through his day, readers learn how the Wampanoag Indians lived in the 1600s. Their homes, clothing, food, and weapons are shown and explained in the course of the story. Their societal structure is introduced as Tapenum describes each family member's duties and his own desire to become a respected member of his community. Relating the information from his perspective makes it accessible and personal for youngsters. If they do not read the back matter, however, they may not understand that Tapenum is a representative figure, not a real person, and that his experiences are based on conjecture, not fact. The book is successful in showing that kids are kids no matter where or when they live. Large, colorful photographs, taken at a re-created Indian homesite at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, add strong visual impact. The text and pictures both demonstrate good attention to detail. Endnotes explain that much of what is known about the Wampanoags comes from archaeological findings in the area. They also provide background information and explain how history is re-created at the homesite. A glossary gives definitions and pronunciations for Wampanoag words and names used in the story. The book is a companion volume to Sarah Morton's Day (1991) and Samuel Eaton's Day (1993, both Scholastic), which describe children's lives in a 17th-century Pilgrim settlement.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Carolyn Phelan
Waters and Kendall, who showed the lives of Pilgrim children in "Sarah Morton's Day" 1989 and "Samuel Eaton's Day" 1993, offer a useful companion book, a study of a Wampanoag Indian boy in the 1620s. Clear, full-color photographs, taken at the Plimoth Plantation historical site in Massachusetts, make this an unusually vivid visual presentation of Native American life. In the fictionalized story, young Tapenum, disappointed that he has not yet been chosen to become a warrior, hunts for food, shoots a rabbit for his mother, and goes fishing with a companion. Later he befriends a wise man, who teaches him about making arrows and learning patience. The story seems a bit purposeful at times in its inclusion of information, but it does a good job of dramatizing what life might have been like for the Wampanoags, who are often studied in elementary school because of their connection with the Pilgrims.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590202374
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 523,604
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.27 (w) x 10.31 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author


Author Kate Waters was born on September 4, 1951, in Rochester, NY. She went on to earn a B.A. from Newtown College of the Sacred Heart (Boston College) and a M.L.S. from Simmons’ Graduate School of Library and Information Science. She grew up in a big family in which storytelling was very important. She worked as a librarian for ten years at the Boston Public Library. There she became very interested in telling stories to young people and finding out what they enjoyed reading. She moved to New York where she worked on a children’s magazine. While working at the magazine, she started to think about new ways to present history and traditions to children. Her books include pictures of actors depicting the stories Kate writes. In addition, her books have been praised for their content and have won many awards. Kate currently lives in New York City.
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