There have been a spate of stories lately, over and above the usual annual number (or so it seems) which take off from the common young female dilemma -- that it seems much more fun to be a boy. This book handles the problem very well with bonus extras of Pilgrim history that has a real ring and characters with less than Pilgrim standards of perfection in their daily living. Joan Tower had two brothers who didn't want a baby sister and so they called her Jo and taught her all the manly arts including swimming, unheard of for girls of that time. Their mother may seem permissive as Pilgrim mothers in juvenile books go, but she let Joan run with the boys and was inclined to overlook Joan's lack of progress in housewifery. Joan couldn't spin, knit, cook and clean because she didn't want to, but after the Indian raid on her village when her mother was ""captivated"" (the use of early New Englandisms adds flavor to the dialogue throughout) Joan found she needed every skill to meet the wants of her family. Before the story is over, she finds her fishing, hunting and swimming prowess called on too, in a plot that remains reasonable as well as exciting. For younger girls in this age group, a treat instead of the usual treatment.