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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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5,869225714 (3.82)170
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)

Recently added byFrankie87, MissShelbyBurton, private library, Mom1Boys3, stwenctest, Becs05

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Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan is a Newbury Award Winning book. The book is about a mother who passed away and the father is left to take care of the two children, Anna and Caleb. The father becomes overwhelmed by the amount of farm work he has to take of, as well as having to take care of his daughter and son by himself. He feels he can’t cope with the pressure and begins to look for a new wife that can help bring up his children correctly. The father sends a letter to a lady named Sarah who lives in Maine. They begin to speak back and forth, the children also start to write her letters and ask her questions about herself. Sarah moves to the farm and lives with the father and children. She sings with the children like their mother once did. She begins to miss home and the son is fearful that she might leave them. But she settles in and decides to stay.

Personal reaction:
I enjoyed this book. I can relate to Sarah missing the ocean. I grew up by the ocean for 18 years and I miss it a lot! I also can relate from a different perspective, of my parents being divorced and what it would be like if my dad had to re-marry. I am not sure on how I feel about that. I found that the book was very well written and kept me engaged in the story. I think that it would have been better if the author included some illustrations in the story. The story line was very realistic and kept my attention. This would be a great read for middle school students.

Classroom extensions:
1. Ask the class is they have ever had anyone die in their family. This will help children speak up about their experiences and relate to other children who have gone through the same pain.
2. Watch the movie on Sarah, Plain and Tall to help children understand the emotional effect of the story since there are no illustrations in the book.
3. Learn about the ocean and different seashells and terrain of the coast. ( )
  Robyn7 | Jul 25, 2016 |
The story of family, death, love, and acceptance will tug at your heart strings. Set in the early 1900’s on the prairie; Caleb and Anna are living with their father on a farm and they are all mourning the death of their mother. The children learn that their father has wrote an advertisement to find them a mother and wife. Sarah, from Maine, answers Papa’s letter. After several letters back and forth, Sarah comes to visit before making a decision. Caleb is excited, while Anna is apprehensive, and Papa struggling with the idea of replacing his wife. You’ll enjoy getting to know the characters and be rooting for Sarah to stay. This is a great story for all ages. ( )
  TiffanyMorgenweck | Jul 20, 2016 |
Caleb is constantly asking his sister about their mother who is no longer living after she gave birth to him. He always wonders why their father never sings anymore like they say he used to. They are not only missing their mom, but also who their father used to be when she was alive. Sarah is hopefully the missing puzzle piece that will put them all back together. They hope they can all live up to her ideas of a family.
This book is a narrative so to extend on this book I would have the children write their own point of view on a person that came into their life that became very important to them.
Sarah lives in Maine but must travel to the prairie states. I would have the children find those states and make a train route for Sarah since her destination is never actually stated other then the prairie. ( )
  sb938957 | Jul 19, 2016 |
This is an amazing early chapter book! I loved the story of Anna and Caleb, two young children whose father is sad and lonely after his wife dies from childbirth. He writes a mail order type letter and along comes Sarah. She lives with them for a month before she decides if she will stay or not. Caleb is drawn to her immediately, but Anna takes a while before she becomes attached to her as well. Sarah draws in Jacob by helping on the farm, but is sad because she misses the Ocean and her home. When Sarah heads to town in the wagon on her own, they are all worried that she wont come back. She does, saying that although she misses the sea, she would miss them more if she left. It ends with Anna saying that Jacob, their dad, and Sarah are getting married soon. I don't really have any critiques!
Genre: Historical Fiction
Uses: It is set in the 1900's so it would be a fun historical read to the class, and a great early chapter book for early beginner readers. ( )
  epatt14 | Apr 15, 2016 |
Decent, but I'm not sure how it became the literary cornerstone it seems to be. ( )
  benuathanasia | Mar 29, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (18 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 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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