Review: Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah Plain and Tall :: Children's Book Review
Image Source: Scholastic

Sarah, Plain and Tall

Author: Patricia MacLachlan

Published in 1985 by HarperCollins

*Middle Grade

Sarah, Plain and Tall is a beloved children’s literature classic that tells the story of a strong family and their life on the prairie in the early 1900’s. It is told from the perspective of young Anna who lives with her younger brother Caleb and her widowed father. Since single women are rare on the prairie, her father places an advertisement for a wife and mother. Sarah comes from Maine to meet the family in response to the advertisement. Upon her arrival, she feels homesick for Maine and misses the ocean. The children fear she will not stay and that they will lose her. They overcome the pain they have all experienced from loss and abandonment in their lives as they find strength in each other. They show each other love and patience while Anna and Caleb teach Sarah about life on the prairie and Sarah teaches them about the beauty of the ocean. This heartwarming story shares the simplicity of country life and the love of a family with gentle humor and a happy ending.

*Newberry Medal Award

Additional Resources:

Author Patricia MacLachlan biography:

Incredible reading guide for Sarah, Plain and Tall with discussion questions and thoughtful analysis of plot, setting, characters, and themes:

Sarah, Plain and Tall study guide with vocabulary, review questions, and activities:


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