How to Build Character Through Books!

Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah, Plain and Tall

👉 Be sure to check out our accompanying guide: Sarah, Plain and Tall Book Guide!

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About the Book

This beloved Newbery Medal–winning book is the first of five books in Patricia MacLachlan’s chapter book series about the Witting family.

Set in the late nineteenth century and told from young Anna’s point of view, Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of how Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton comes from Maine to the prairie to answer Papa’s advertisement for a wife and mother. Before Sarah arrives, Anna and her younger brother Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she sing? Will she stay?

This children’s literature classic is perfect for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books, historical fiction, and timeless stories using rich and beautiful language. Sarah, Plain and Tall gently explores themes of abandonment, loss and love.

This anniversary edition includes author Patricia MacLachlan’s Newbery speech, a discussion guide, and a reading list.

Read the rest of the Sarah books by Patricia MacLachlan: Skylark, Caleb’s Story, More Perfect than the Moon, and Grandfather’s Dance.

About the Author:

Patricia MacLachlan was born on the prairie, and to this day carries a small bag of prairie dirt with her wherever she goes to remind her of what she knew first. She is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb’s Story. She lives in western Massachusetts. See more here.

A Few Reviews:

What a sweet story about two children who hope and pray that Sarah will stay with them forever and become their new mother. Written in a very simple style, this book is a fast read. The emotions that the children feel are very clear and all of the characters are well-written. Highly recommend for ages 8+. –Amazon Reviewer Chiara H.

From the back cover:

“Did Mama sing every day?”
Caleb asks his sister Anna.
“Every-single-day,” she answers.
“Papa sang, too.”

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 wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she like them? Will she stay?”


Find more great Chapter Books here!


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