Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review- Sarah, Plain and Tall

For the Hard Core Re-reading challenge and newberry reading challenge I read Patrica Maclachlan's book Sarah, Plain and Tall.

Synopsis from Goodreads: This 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 is a simple little book but with an endearing and prevalent story line. Maybe it is just because I'm still so close to having lost my grandfather but the grief and uncertainty they were still going through really touched me. Obviously it is quite different when it is a mother and then you're maybe getting a new mother. The childish wonder that the children experience towards Sarah is I know so much how I would have felt if it had been me at that age. Living on the prairie myself, I wonder what it would be like in reverse if I had to leave here and go to Maine. New settings, no matter how slight are hard to get used to... at least for me. I think Sarah was brave to do it and brave to stay. The concept of the mail order bride, while not new to me, is still weird. Did you know that mail order brides still exist, in a way? Look it up!
So all my wandering musings to say, I found this a surprisingly touching book that I think would be good to give to a child whose parent may be remarrying or if they have lost a parent.

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  1. I haven't reread this one as an adult. But I did love it as a child!

    1. It's interesting and different re-reading it as an adult but it shows the test of being a great book by being readable even at an older age. :)


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