Saturday, January 1, 2011
Review: Sarah Plain and Tall
Title: Sarah Plain and Tall
Author: Patricia MacLachlan
Their mother died the day after Caleb was born. Their house on the prairie is quiet now, and Papa doesn't sing anymore. Then Papa puts an ad in the paper, asking for a wife, and he receives a letter from one Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton, of Maine. Papa, Anna, and Caleb write back. Caleb asks if she sings.
Sarah decides to come for a month. She writes Papa: I will come by train. I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall, and Tell them I sing. Anna and Caleb will wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she like them? Will she stay? (cover blurb)
Picking the first book of a new year is always hard. You want it to be a book with some meaning. You want to start the year off right. What if you hate the book? What if you don't want to finish it? It could ruin the rest of the reading year for you. In picking Sarah Plain and Tall, I knew I wouldn't hate it. I read this book years and years ago when I was in elementary school and adored it then. I still find this book to be touching and was the perfect quick start to 2011.
Anna and Caleb lost their mother the day after Caleb was born. Since then, they have been raised on the prairie with their Papa. Both children horribly miss having a mother, and often talk about her singing and the fact that now that she is gone, Papa no longer sings. When the day comes that Papa tells them about Sarah, their whole world changes. They have a chance to have a mother, something they want so badly they can practically taste it.
I think this book pulls at the heart strings because it introduces us to two children who just want to be loved. Plus, Sarah is a great character - strong at heart, a good worker, and a wonderful mother to both Anna and Caleb.
I'm glad I took the time to sit down and re-read this book in the new year. It's definitely one that I will someday share with my own children.
This book counts toward by 2011 YA Historical Fiction Challenge.