The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune
Young John Howland felt the need to leave England along with other Pilgrims to attain freedom to worship as they wished. As an indentured servant to John Carver, a leader of the Separatists, Howland sailed on the Mayflower to the New World in search of a new start and religious liberty. Washed overboard in the middle of the wild ocean during a storm, Howland was miraculously saved. When the ship finally reached land, the travelers found themselves hundreds of miles north of where they hoped to land, in an inhospitable environment while facing what promises to be a harsh winter. As this small group deals with widespread illness, a severe shortage of food, and a lack of decent housing, Howland has to take on more and more responsibility as many leaders die.
P. J. Lynch has written a compelling accounting of young John Howland’s story and the larger story of the Mayflower. The writing is crisp, and the facts are presented in captivating prose. The rich, detailed paintings he uses to illustrate his story evoke times past and steep the readers in Howland’s journey. This is one of the finest middle-grade historical picture books available. Don’t miss it.
P. J. Lynch, P.J. Lynch, Illustrator