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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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6,260248644 (3.82)182
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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Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
The story follows the Witting family—Jacob and his children, Anna and Caleb—who are excited for a woman named Sarah to join their farm. She's answered Jacob's ad in the newspaper for a new wife, and the kids are really hoping she'll want to stay with them forever once she comes. Recommended for grades 4-6.
  audreybusch | May 3, 2017 |
Sarah moved from Maine to the prairie, answering a newspaper ad from a man looking for a wife and mother. Sarah responded that she would arrive by train, wearing a yellow bonnet and that she was plain and tall. Sarah will not only be a new wife to Jacob, but also a new step-mom to Anna and Caleb. The children are very nervous to meet Sarah and wonder if she will be nice? Will she sing to them and will she stay?

Personal Review:
I love reading stories from this time period. It never ceases to amaze me all the struggles and hardships that people living on the prairie went through. They were strong and steadfast, staying put and adapting to all though changes. How many women today would answer an ad, leave their home and travel to an unknown place to marry and mother a husband and children she has never met.

Classroom Extension:
1. Character Trait Anchor Chart: write character traits on sticky notes and have students sort them by characters.
2. Quilt: give students construction paper of multiple colors and have them draw pictures from the story, then connect the paper with string to make a quilt
  coralea | Apr 29, 2017 |
This story is set in the 19th century about a farmer who is widowed and puts an advertisement out for a wife. Sarah replies to the letter and the farmer and his 2 children welcome Sarah to their prairie farmland. She stays with them for a month to see if she'll like living there. She misses her ocean home but finds happiness and brings peace and joy with the farmer and his children.

Personal Reaction
This a great story of losing someone and finding peace with it and loving again. This book is a great story to show the hard work of living on the prairie.

Classroom Extension
1. I would have a lesson of prairie grassland, animals, small towns, and hardships.
2. I would have a lesson about the ocean and students can created their ocean on paper ( )
  CarrieDann | Apr 23, 2017 |
This book is about a widower who has recently lost his wife and needs help raising his kids, so he puts an ad in the paper for a new wife. A young woman named Sarah agrees to the ad, even though she is very skeptical. She goes to visit the family, where she is welcomed by some, and not by others. As the story continues, Sarah and the father fall in love, and they become a happy family, children and all. This book would be great for upper elementary students when discussing life in the pioneer days and teaching new vocabulary. ( )
  Taylor20 | Mar 21, 2017 |
This book would be a good read aloud book for k-1, but could be independently read 2-5. This book could be used for 3rd grade when learning how to write a narrative, and it could help them to write about something that they have lost before, or a time when they had something they really loved more than anything and were scared to lose it, so that they could make connections. This book can also be used to explain to any grade what the life was like on the frontier by examining their day by day activities, and also pairing it with supplements like Little House on the Prairie, or other first hand accounts of life on the frontier.
  rstrohmeier | Mar 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
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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--
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"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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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)

(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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