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The Thanksgiving Door

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  222 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
When Ed and Ann’s turkey dinner burns, they think their Thanksgiving is ruined. But what appears to be a disaster becomes a blessing in disguise when Ed and Ann unknowingly intrude on an immigrant family’s own Thanksgiving celebration at their new restaurant, The New World Café. Once Grandmother silences her despairing family and invites the unexpected customers to join th ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 25th 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published September 29th 2003)
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Kathryn
Loved this! It's told simply but with great heart and really captures the spirit of thanksgiving in terms of opening your heart to others and embracing gratitude and joy (even in unexpected places). It's also an immigrant story and I think that's wonderful in conjunction with Thanksgiving (after all, the colonists at the first thanksgiving were immigrants, too, in a way!) showing how the old world customs combine lovingly with the new country they have come to embrace. Love that it shows the une ...more
Mariah
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was cute and had a great story about sharing on Thanksgiving :)
Cheryl
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Important theme, successfully and delightfully illustrated. I'm glad my library system had a copy they were willing to ship to my city.
Heather
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thanksgiving
This is my favorite Thanksgiving read-aloud for children. It's not about turkeys or football. It's a cross-generational and multi-cultural story that touches on loneliness, tolerance, and inclusion. I love the role that the grandmother plays, and I enjoy having young readers & listeners figure out the mystery of how Ann and Ed were able to join the holiday fun!
Mckinley
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday, picture
Mistakes can make for good outcomes.
Peacegal
3.5 stars -- Aww! Sweet and cute story that introduces some traditional Russian customs and emphasizes that the real meaning and joy in Thanksgiving is sharing it with friends--and making new ones.
Ashley Jacobson
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eve-read, kai-read
Cute story about an elderly couple who ruin Thanksgiving dinner and go to the restaurant down the street where they meet new friends. A great tale of friendship, love, and thanksgiving.
Karen
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing book!

What a wonderful book with a great message for kids and adults alike. I get choked up every time I read it.
Deanna
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story for everyone.
ANDRUS, Kay L.
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Thanksgiving Door

This is a super cute book that my family always reads on Thanksgiving. We recommend it to all families looking for a new tradition.
Andrea Hussey
Nov 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell is a reminder that Thanksgiving is about opening one's heart in welcome to the strangers who become friends and the disappointments that bring unexpected joys.

When Ed and Ann's turkey dinner burns, they think their Thanksgiving is ruined. But what appears to be a disaster becomes a blessing in disguise when Ed and Ann unknowingly intrude on an immigrant family's own Thanksgiving celebration at their new restaurant, The New World Café, where the door is open.
...more
Sarah Sammis
Jan 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell from the themed shelf my library set up last November. I picked it for its title. Typically Thanksgiving books involve turkeys, pilgrims and the occasional cornucopia. I've never seen a door mentioned in any other titles. So from that alone, I picked the book.

An older married couple with no immediate family in the area have a burned turkey and no enthusiasm for a Thanksgiving meal when it's just the two of them. They decide to go out to dinner and en
...more
babyhippoface
Thanksgiving is gratefulness for family, friends, and home filled with love and laughter. Everyone is reminded of this in Atwell's heartwarming story about an accidental friendship that's forged when Ann burns the Thanksgiving dinner. She and Ed head down the street to find a place to eat and find the door to the New World Cafe open, so they go inside. The table is set for a fine Thanksgiving meal, with Pilgrims and Indians, and...what's this dancing man with the beard?

The proprietors of the Ne
...more
Leslie
This is one of the most adorable fun little books I've ever come across! The cover sold me at first glance and the artistry continues on every page. The most beautiful, bright, vivid depictions of the most charming people! Here's a mystery for you: the illustrator is not named! Is it the author herself? Anyway, the story is about this cute old couple who have burned their Thanksgiving dinner so wander in to a restaruant because they find its door open (by accident as it turns out). The lovely an ...more
Teri
If you want a hard copy of this book you need to start saving your pennies. I think the least expensive used copy I saw was about $70.00. I saw a few offering to sell copies for a couple thousand dollars. Guessing it is out of print. I bought it on kindle for the bargain basement price of $5.99. The illustrations came out ok, but are black and white and not real clear. Glad to have a copy of this story anyway. It really is a great story about an older couple who burns their Thanksgiving dinner a ...more
Linda
This is my favorite Thanksgiving book, because it’s about community and welcome, and getting together with whomever needs to get together, to give thanks. Ed and Ann are home alone, and Ann, sadly, burns their Thanksgiving dinner. Ed suggests they walk down the street to check out the new, New World Café. They walk in-the door was open-and those in the kitchen are alarmed, immigrants who are planning their first Thanksgiving in America. At first they think they should scare these new customers a ...more
Relyn
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
Recommended to Relyn by: spotted on my library's website
I have to admit, the start of this book was a little rough. Debby Atwell seems to be from the "Jump right in" school of story telling. Still, it was a wonderful story of hospitality, friendship, and gratitude. I can't wait to use this next year with my students.

Classroom Connections
- Put in a huge pile with other seasonal books for free time reading.
- Use as an introduction to the idea of traditions & writing about their own family's traditions.
- Use in a unit on immigration.
Russell
Two points about the grandmother:

(view spoiler)

The only problem? Ann might decide to burn future holiday dinners based on this experience. Maybe it's the long con, her hoping to have Ed finally cook a damn meal fo
...more
Babette Reeves
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After you've read about as many stories about Pilgrims and Native Americans as you can stand, read this one. Actually, don't wait that long. Without hitting kids or adults over the head with a two by four about the meaning of Thanksgiving, it conveys it. I really like this story and will be reading it at my family's Thanksgiving gathering--to the whole crowd. It's a good multi-generational read.
Shaley Dunn
This is a great book. It is about a little old couple where the wife burns their thanksgiving dinner and they go out to eat. It ends up the restrauant is closed but they still get in and the family doesnt want them there until the grandma steps in and says its a time to give. This book would show children to share, to care for other people and truly show them what thanksgiving is about.
Roberta
Ann and Ed plan to have a quiet Thanksgiving for 2, but Ann burns the dinner. They end up at the New World Cafe. The restaurant is actually closed for the holiday but the owners invite them in to celebrate with them. It's a different kind of Thanksgiving than Ed and Ann expected, but Ed is happy Ann burned their dinner.
Sally
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
Sweet story of two families who don't plan on it, but share Thanksgiving and make new friends. Love the "modern" perspective of New World/Old World. Brings to mind “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Allen
Dec 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
An elderly couple visits the family owned New World Cafe after the wife burns the Thanksgiving meal. A Russian immigrant family is put out by the couple's visit only to get reprimanded by the semi-broken English grandmother. What follows is a wonderful evening of food, family, and togetherness. There's a great message here, though the book is rather harsh against the wife for burning their meal.
Cara Byrne
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story about coming together on thanksgiving. While it is complicated to show an unwitting couple step in and trespass on recent immigrants' first thanksgiving, the fact that the grandmother seems to orchestrate the whole mix up is a nice twist.
Theresa
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two older neighbors find that they must go out for thankgiving because they have burned their dinner, they soon find more then they ever imagine and find gratitude in the fact that one event lead to something improtant in their life.
Leslie L
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-books
Sweet picture book story about a couple whose Thanksgiving dinner gets burned, so they head off to a local cafe, and are welcomed into the owners first Thanksgiving celebration.
Good message about blessings in disguise, and sharing with those in need.
Karen
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ellie, jacob, mom
It's that time of year again when we bring out our holiday books and re-read them. This is one of our favorites for thanksgiving...11/12/15

Love this book each time we read it! It gets better and better. Ellie chose this one over all the rest to read..krb 11/23/17
Heather
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best children's Thanksgiving books I've read. It powerfully communicates the importance of giving to others, regardless of race, culture, or relation, in a way that stays with you long after you've finished reading.
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