Historical Fiction: Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims

514izsxq1ul-_sx328_bo1204203200_Limbaugh, R. (2013). Rush Revere and the brave Pilgrims. New York. Threshold Editions.


Join substitute teacher Rush Revere and his talking horse, Liberty, as they time travel and teach the students about American History. Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims is the first book in Limbaugh’s Time Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans series. Readers will be swept back in time to the Mayflower voyage and landing. They will then learn about some of the hardships the Pilgrims endured along with the signing of the Mayflower Compact. They will also learn about the Pilgrim’s blossoming friendship with Squanto and the Native Americans. Finally, they will read about the Pilgrim’s resourcefulness and how this contributed to the first Thanksgiving.


Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims provides students a fun way to learn about the Pilgrims and their voyage as well as their settlement in America. The fact that the book won the Children’s Choice Book Award shows that it is a book that many children would enjoy. Personally, I did not like all the banter  that went on between Rush Revere and his horse, but I think children will like this part of the story.

Nonetheless, the book provides many details that are not normally taught in school. For example, I learned that the Pilgrims had planned to take two ships to America, but one was not strong enough to make the voyage.  I would recommend this book for fourth graders with guidance and fifth to sixth graders without guidance.


American History- Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, Native Americans


Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims is part of a book series called Time Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans. Other books in the series include Rush Revere and the First Patriots, Rush Revere and the American Revolution, Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner and Rush Revere and the Presidency.


2014 Children’s Choice Book Award- “Author of the Year”

Quantitative Reading Level: 

Lexile Measure: 740; Grade Level Equivalent: 4-5; Pages: 224

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

Organization/Format: The book is divided into ten chapters. It also includes a diagram of the Mayflower, copy of the Mayflower Compact as well as paintings and drawings that depict the time period. Pictures of Rush Revere and his horse are sprinkled throughout the book. Although there is plenty of text it is broken up in segments by lots of visuals.

Language Demands: The language is fairly simple. The historical figures do not talk in the old English style that was commonplace in the 1600s.

Knowledge Demands: It would be helpful for the students to know why the Pilgrims decided to risk their lives and sail to America.

Meaning/Purpose: The purpose of this book is to show an in-depth account of the Pilgrims’ voyage to America as well as the steps they took to establish Plymouth Colony.

Content/Subject Area & Standards:

Fourth Grade ELA: (Missouri Learning Standards)

2 Develop and apply skills and strategies to comprehend, analyze and evaluate fiction, poetry and drama from a variety of cultures and times. Read, infer, analyze, and draw conclusions to: a. summarize and sequence the events/plot, and explain how past events impact future events, and identify the theme b. describe the personality traits of characters from the thoughts, words, and actions c. describe the interaction of characters, including relationships and how they change d. compare and contrast the adventures or exploits of characters and their roles e. compare and contrast the point of view from which stories are narrated, explain whether the narrator or speaker of a story is first or third person

Fourth Grade Social Studies: (Missouri Learning Standards)

1. Knowledge of the principles expressed in documents shaping constitutional democracy in the United States E. Describe the character traits and civic attitudes of historically significant individuals in American history prior to  1800

3a. Knowledge of continuity and change in the history of Missouri and the United States. A. Describe the discovery, exploration and early settlement of America by Europeans prior to 1800. B. Examine cultural interactions and conflicts among Native Americans, Immigrants from Europe, and enslaved and free Africans and African Americans prior to 1800.

5. Knowledge of major elements of geographical study and analysis and their relationship to changes in society and the environment. A. Construct and interpret historical and current maps. B. Analyze how people are affected by, depend on, adapt to and change their physical environments in the past and in the present.

6. Knowledge of relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions. D. Analyze the preservation of cultural life, celebrations, traditions, and commemorations over time.

Curriculum Suggestions: 

  1. Have students research the first Thanksgiving. Next, have students dress up as Pilgrims and Native Americans. Research the food that was at the first feast. Try to replicate it and enjoy the meal!
  2. Samoset was a leader of the Pemaquid indian tribe. He greeted the Pilgrims shortly after they landed at Plymouth. Research the indian tribes the Pilgrims came in contact with. How were the tribes alike? How were they different?

Links to Supporting Content:

Pilgrims, the Mayflower Compact and Thanksgiving Lesson Plan

Plimoth Plantation: Just for Kids


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