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Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Sarah, Plain and Tall (original 1985; edition 1987)

by Patricia MacLachlan

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5,179201863 (3.83)157
Title:Sarah, Plain and Tall
Authors:Patricia MacLachlan
Info:HarperCollins (1987), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 64 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Newbery, family, losing a mother

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Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (1985)


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» See also 157 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 201 (next | show all)
Do not let the size or cover of this book fool you. It is only 58 pages long, but filled with many opportunities to dig below the surface and do some inferencing. It also looks like a “girl’s” book, but boys love the story and connect with the little boy. This book could be used with a unit on Westward Expansion, and definitely requires some additional research in order to understand the importance of setting and time. I launch my Historical Fiction Unit with this book as a Read Aloud, and we do one chapter a day, and a lot of writing in our journals. ( )
  Taranto | Dec 2, 2014 |
Anna tells her younger brother Caleb that Papa and Mama used to sing together. It has been some time since daddy has sung. Caleb has no memories of his mother. Dad has now placed an ad for help. The children ask dad if the ad is for a housekeeper and he replies, “no, a wife.” This is how the children find out about Sarah. Sarah Wheaton had written a letter in response to the ad. Caleb wanted to know one thing: Does she sing?
Sarah and the family exchange letters. The children are excited to learn that Sarah sings. Sarah comes for a one-month visit and the children discover that she is plain and tall. During the visit, the children notice she is homesick. When Sarah leaves to go to town, the children worry that she may never come back. ( )
  ecollado | Nov 27, 2014 |
In this story a mane named Jake lives with his son and daughter Caleb and Annain the middle of prairie land in the late 1800s. Jake's wife passed away several years ago and Caleb and Anna see how their father is so lonely.Their father decides to advertise for a wife and receives a reply from a woman is Maine. She describes herself as plain and tall and decides to visit them on a trial basis. She is anything but plain. She visits on a one month basis to see if she fits in. She took Jake and the kids to visit Maine and the ocean. Jake and Sarah eventually get married.

My reaction
I loved this book. I loved everything about it. I have always loved prairie life and wondered what it would be like to have lived back in that time.

Classroom extension:
1.Have the students compare things you would find at the prairie vs the ocean.
2.Have the students draw on a sheet of paper what living on a prairie would look like and on the backside of the paper have the students draw what living at the ocean would look like.
  AmberDimmitt | Nov 11, 2014 |
This is story about a father and his two children, Caleb and Anna. They lived on the frontier and their mother had died after giving birth to Caleb. Their father, Jack, had requested a wife to come live with them and help raise Caleb and Anna. A woman named Sarah replied by mail. She exchanged letters with all of them before coming to stay. She quickly bonds with the family and learns how to maintain on the frontier.

Personal Reaction:
I loved this story. It takes you back in time and gives a great description of frontier life. This would make a good read for young readers in 5th grade or above.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. In the classroom, you can have a literature circle to discuss the book with the class.
2. You can also have the children take time to write about their thoughts and feelings towards the book. ( )
  angela.knox | Nov 11, 2014 |
I loved this book because it brought out such great language and was very close to home. About Sarah who comes from Maine by answering an advertisement for a mother and wife. Anna and Caleb wonder about how she will adapt into farm, pioneering on a frontier. So much adventure and emotion make this book very good for children to read alone. ( )
  lannersvalerie | Oct 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 201 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia MacLachlanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amo, Fuencisla DelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustrationssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bliss, HarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Close, GlennNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For old friends, dear friends - Dick and Wendy Puff, Allison and Derek
First words
"Did Mama sing every day?" asked Caleb.
"And she named me Caleb," he went on, filling in the old familiar story.
"I would have named you Troublesome,"' I said, making Caleb smile.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064402053, Paperback)

MacLachlan, author of Unclaimed Treasures, has written an affecting tale for children. In the late 19th century a widowed midwestern farmer with two children--Anna and Caleb--advertises for a wife. When Sarah arrives she is homesick for Maine, especially for the ocean which she misses greatly. The children fear that she will not stay, and when she goes off to town alone, young Caleb--whose mother died during childbirth--is stricken with the fear that she has gone for good. But she returns with colored pencils to illustrate for them the beauty of Maine, and to explain that, though she misses her home, "the truth of it is I would miss you more." The tale gently explores themes of abandonment, loss and love.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:56 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay.

(summary from another edition)

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