The boy who fell off the Mayflower, or, John Howland's good fortune

Patrick James Lynch

Book - 2015

An illustrated account of the life of John Howland, the young servant who was indentured to Pilgrim John Carver, describes how he embarked on the Mayflower and survived a fall off the ship before helping his ill shipmates by scouting out a safe harbor.

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Picture books
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press 2015.
Main Author
Patrick James Lynch (author)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 x 29 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* John Howland, an indentured servant in his teens, sails from his native England as a Pilgrim aboard the Mayflower. The stormy voyage encounters a series of troubles, which are met with faith, courage, and action. In one scene, a wave sweeps John overboard, but he is saved. Eventually, they finally spy the American coastline some 200 miles north of their destination. Sick, hungry, and desperate for a place to settle, they finally land at New Plymouth, where many die that winter. Two Indians, Samoset and Squanto, befriend the settlers and help them to survive. In the fall, they celebrate with their Indian allies at a harvest festival. Though now free of his indenture, John decides to stay in the colony. The clearly written first-person account, told from John's point of view, combines history with adventure and a hint of romance. Based on historical sources, the narrative is laced with well-imagined characterizations and conversations. The book's wide format showcases Lynch's dramatic and richly atmospheric watercolor and gouache paintings, which include strong individual character portrayals as well as beautifully composed scenes on land and at sea. This handsome volume offers a dramatic personal story of the Pilgrims' voyage on the Mayflower and their early experiences in America.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In his authorial debut, Lynch (Mysterious Traveler) presents an intimate account of the Mayflower crossing and the Pilgrims' first year in America. His imagined first-person narration by real-life indentured servant John Howland employs a zoom-lens focus in its description of pivotal episodes in the harrowing journey. One of these is Howland's fall overboard: "Down and down I went into the darkness under the icy waves. It was quiet down there, no raging wind or rain like up above." An eerie underwater blue-green spread shows Howland grasping for a submerged rope, the water's surface and ship's keel looming above. Lynch's meticulous watercolor and gouache illustrations imbue the pages with cinematic energy. The opening birds-eye view of bustling 1620s London allows careful readers to spot a tiny Howland running through muddy streets on a clandestine errand; a later spread shows the Native Americans' vantage from shadowy woods as they secretly watch the newly arrived Pilgrims. Short chapters with straightforward titles chronologically segment a familiar story that has been personalized through stunning artwork and insightful storytelling. Ages 7-10. Agent: Clare Conville, Conville & Walsh Literary Agency. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Lynch brings to vivid life the well-known story of the Pilgrims through the adventures and voice of John Howland. As a young man, Howland came across the Atlantic on the Mayflower as an indentured servant of John Carver, who would later become the first governor of the new colony. The book is told from Howland's first-person perspective, with plenty of dialogue. Some of Howland's story is familiar: the journey of the Mayflower, the trials of the new colony, the first encounters with the Wampanoag, Squanto's assistance, and the eventual peace that culminated in a Thanksgiving feast. Yet Lynch includes other information, such as the Speedwell, a ship from Holland that was intended to travel alongside the Mayflower; details of the life of indentured servants; the politics of the creation of the Mayflower Compact; the harrowing death rate of the new colony; and Howland's trajectory to personal commitment to the colony and to God. Coupled with richly detailed and often dramatic watercolor and gouache illustrations, Lynch's fast-paced text brings a new excitement to the Thanksgiving story. VERDICT An excellent choice for teachers seeking a new approach to the history of the Pilgrims.-Mariah Manley, Salt Lake City Public Library © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Indentured to Master Carver, young John Howland embarks on the Mayflower bound for the New World. Accompanied by realistic watercolor and gouache paintings, a sophisticated, lengthy first-person narration of storms, sickness, and the difficult first winter gives a thorough, non-sensational retelling of the historic record, including a respectful account of interactions with Squanto and Massasoit, and somber but brief mentions of colonists who died. Bib. (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A much-longer-than-typical picture book about the Mayflower's first landing in America and its aftermath, told through the eyes of one of its passengers. Based on historical fact, this feast of a book, the first illustrator Lynch has authored as well, will captivate readers from its opening double-page spread. Lynch's masterful watercolor and gouache illustrationsharkening back to the grand style of Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyethbring to life the true story of indentured servant John Howland, who sailed on the Mayflower with his master in 1620. Howland's narration relates the difficult ocean crossing and how, in a storm, he is swept overboard but miraculously rescued. Once land is reached, however, Howland and the other settlers find their difficulties have begun in earnest. Winter weather, lack of food, sickness, and aggression toward the native peoples all contribute to the demise of more than half the original settlers. But spring comes, the native people offer help, and the familiar Thanksgiving story is broached. What sets this book apart from myriad Pilgrim stories is Howland's personal point of view, which helps readers enter into the tenor of the time, when the settlers' religious faith both motivated and sustained them, and the dramatic illustrations with their expert play of expression, composition, and light.Sweeping and grand, this personal take on a familiar story is an engaging success. (bibliography, author's note) (Picture book. 6-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.