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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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5,985238697 (3.81)175
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

Work details

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (1985)


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Summary: This book is about a young brother and sister who lose their mother. The father of the two young children wants to find a mother to help raise them so he advertises for a mail-order bride. Sarah, sees the advertisement and agrees to come for a month with the family to see if it works. The family adores Sarah and their connection is evident. With the love and connection they share, Sarah agrees to stay with the family.

Personal reaction: I think this is a classic tale that really pulls the audience in. We see their loneliness and sadness in the beginning but have hope that Sarah will work out. With the ending being so happy, it leaves the reader feeling the same joy that the family feels...content and complete.

Classroom extension ideas: Use this story to discuss setting. Compare and contrast the two settings that Sarah encounters...the ocean she was used to, and the prairie she comes to know.
  Morgan.Nelson | Nov 28, 2016 |
Caleb and Anna's mother has died, and their father Jacob no longer sings. He advertises for a new wife and Sarah answers the ad. She's from the Maine coast and makes the journey out to the far prairie to see if she and the family will get along. Caleb and Anna like her immediately, but are terrified that she will leave them like their mother did. Utterly sweet story well worth a read. ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
This is a story finding the perfect wife for your dad. The dad goes through the mail-order bride advertisement to find a wife. Sarah brings a joy and peace that this family needs. She came for a month but stay on the hearts of the kids for a lifetime.

Personal Reaction:
Losing someone special in your life is a hard road to come back from. Living and loving again in life is a special thing that is what you’re love ones want you to do. I like this book, love never gets old. Set in the 19th century working the land and living life as a family that is old school love.

Classroom Extension Ideas:

1.Ask the kids in a lament terms do they know about losing someone.

2.Get kids to sing as they read this book.

3.Have the parents of the kids to put on a play ( )
  cedric_edwards | Nov 12, 2016 |
Sarah, Plain and Tall is about a family who lost their mom while she was in child birth. The dad orders a female bride through the mail so the children will have a mom. Throughout the book, the kids are afraid the new lady will want to go back to the ocean because she misses it dearly. At the end, it tells about Sarah getting married and staying with the famiy. This book is great for upper elementary students to read by themselves or with the class. The book tells about the hardshpis during that time period, the hard work during those days, and dealing with loss. ( )
  Katelyn.Armatys | Nov 5, 2016 |
I re-read this for one of my classes. I read the whole book in the time I was supposed to read the first two chapters. Oops. ;)

It's a good book, i think, following two children as they get to know their potential new mother and hope she'll be happy enough at their home to stay. It's pretty simplified, since it's a book for children. There's no grief over the deceased wife/mother or fear that in accepting Sarah, they're betraying her. But it was sweet how quickly the children came to love Sarah and their constant underlying worry that she wouldn't like them/their father/the land enough to stay.

Question to ponder: You know, the concept of mail order brides seems so strange to a modern audience, but is it really that different from online dating?

(Review written on August 31, 2014.) ( )
  danaenicole | Oct 30, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia MacLachlanprimary authorall editionscalculated
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:15 -0400)

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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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