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Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah, Plain and Tall

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Sarah, Plain and Tall

4/5 (106 avaliações)
81 página
1 hora
Lançado em:
Jun 25, 2013


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, and it's a strong choice for independent reading. 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.

Lançado em:
Jun 25, 2013

Sobre o autor

Patricia MacLachlan is the celebrated author of many timeless novels for young readers, including Newbery Medal winner Sarah, Plain and Tall; Word After Word After Word; Kindred Souls; The Truth of Me; The Poet’s Dog; and My Father’s Words. She is also the author of countless beloved picture books, a number of which she cowrote with her daughter, Emily. She lives in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.

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Amostra do Livro

Sarah, Plain and Tall - Patricia MacLachlan


For old friends, dear friends—














Sarah, Plain and Tall 30th Anniversary Edition: Bonus Materials

Patricia MacLachlan: Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech

Discussion Guide

Suggested Reading List

Excerpt from Skylark


Excerpt from Caleb’s Story


Excerpt from More Perfect than the Moon


Excerpt from Grandfather’s Dance


About the Author

Books by Patricia MacLachlan

Back Ads



About the Publisher


"Did Mama sing every day? asked Caleb. Every-single-day?" He sat close to the fire, his chin in his hand. It was dusk, and the dogs lay beside him on the warm hearthstones.

Every-single-day, I told him for the second time this week. For the twentieth time this month. The hundredth time this year? And the past few years?

And did Papa sing, too?

Yes. Papa sang, too. Don’t get so close, Caleb. You’ll heat up.

He pushed his chair back. It made a hollow scraping sound on the hearthstones, and the dogs stirred. Lottie, small and black, wagged her tail and lifted her head. Nick slept on.

I turned the bread dough over and over on the marble slab on the kitchen table.

Well, Papa doesn’t sing anymore, said Caleb very softly. A log broke apart and crackled in the fireplace. He looked up at me. What did I look like when I was born?

You didn’t have any clothes on, I told him.

I know that, he said.

You looked like this. I held the bread dough up in a round pale ball.

I had hair, said Caleb seriously.

Not enough to talk about, I said.

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.

And Mama handed me to you in the yellow blanket and said . . . He waited for me to finish the story. And said . . . ?

I sighed. And Mama said, ‘Isn’t he beautiful, Anna?’

And I was, Caleb finished.

Caleb thought the story was over, and I didn’t tell him what I had really thought. He was homely and plain, and he had a terrible holler and a horrid smell. But these were not the worst of him. Mama died the next morning. That was the worst thing about Caleb.

Isn’t he beautiful, Anna? Her last words to me. I had gone to bed thinking how wretched he looked. And I forgot to say good night.

I wiped my hands on my apron and went to the window. Outside, the prairie reached out and touched the places where the sky came down. Though winter was nearly over, there were patches of snow and ice everywhere. I looked at the long dirt road that crawled across the plains, remembering the morning that Mama had died, cruel and sunny. They had come for her in a wagon and taken her away to be buried. And then the cousins and aunts and uncles had come and tried to fill up the house. But they couldn’t.

Slowly, one by one, they left. And then the days seemed long and dark like winter days, even though it wasn’t winter. And Papa didn’t sing.

Isn’t he beautiful, Anna?

No, Mama.

It was hard to think of Caleb as beautiful. It took three whole days for me to love him, sitting in the chair by the fire, Papa washing up the supper dishes, Caleb’s tiny hand brushing my cheek. And a smile. It was the smile, I know.

Can you remember her songs? asked Caleb. Mama’s songs?

I turned from the window. No. Only that she sang about flowers and birds. Sometimes about the moon at nighttime.

Caleb reached down and touched Lottie’s head.

Maybe, he said, his voice low, if you remember the songs, then I might remember her, too.

My eyes widened and tears came. Then the door opened and wind blew in with Papa, and I went to stir the stew. Papa put his arms around me and put his nose in my hair.

Nice soapy smell, that stew, he said.

I laughed. That’s my hair.

Caleb came over and threw his arms around Papa’s neck and hung down as Papa swung him back and forth, and the dogs sat up.

Cold in town, said Papa. And Jack was feisty. Jack was Papa’s horse that he’d raised from a colt. Rascal, murmured Papa, smiling, because no matter

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O que as pessoas pensam sobre Sarah, Plain and Tall

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  • (5/5)
    Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan“Did mama sing every day?” asked Caleb. “Every-single-day?” He sate close to the fire, his chin in his hand. It was dusk, and the dogs lay beside him on the warm hearthstones.Somehow in my reading lifetime I missed Sarah, Plain and Tall; I recently discovered this gem and can see why it is so beloved. After Papa is left a widower with small children at home, he puts an ad in the newspaper for a wife. What he gets is Sarah. Sarah is a perfect match for Papa and the children and the delightful tale of their growing relationships gently unfolds during the story.No matter how much I enjoyed the story (and the possibility of reading the sequels) I cannot help thinking that there is no ethnic diversity in the story. But not nonexistent. The author very slyly imposes a feminist approach to Sarah’s character. Sarah is smart and physically strong and is able to perform many tasks around the farm that are traditionally male and forces the family to understand that these abilities are part of her character. Naturally, Papa has trouble adjusting to this type of woman. These-strong minded female character traits are important for young readers to be exposed to. This viewpoint provides diversity with Sarah is a role model.Diversity benefits this entire family as Sarah decides whether she will stay and become Papa’s wife.
  • (3/5)
    Summary:This book is about a family where the mother has passed away. The father becomes lonely so he puts an Ad in the newspaper for a wife and a woman named Sarah from Maine answers the ad. She comes to their house and lives with them and begins to love them. Finally at the end of the book she knows that she wants to stay and there is going to be a wedding. Personal Reaction:I remember my mom reading this book with me as a child but I don't remember him putting an ad in the paper. I guess when we are little we don't always grasp things but overall I thought the book was cute.Classroom Extension Ideas:1. Learn to draw what we see. 2. Write about what we are thankful for.
  • (5/5)
    Summary: A man puts an ad in the newspaper for a wife and mother for himself and his two children. Sarah travels all the way from the ocean coast of Maine to the rolling prairies of the new frontier. This is the story of their trails of getting to know each other and maybe starting a new life. Personal: This was a very easy, quick read. The author paints a vivid picture of what life was like on the open prairie. I don’t know if I would have had their courage.Classroom Extensions: Social Studies: When studying the different parts of the country this book would really help the students picture what the prairies were like. It would also give them a look at life during this time period focusing on the tools that were available, transportation, or what school was like then. Math: Make a timeline of what a normal day on the farm is like and then have the kids make out a timeline of their day.Fresh bread was made daily. It would be fun to make some homemade biscuits with the students and let them measure out the ingredients and follow the recipe directions.
  • (3/5)
    Simple, sweet story about Sarah, who leaves her home to become the wife of a stranger.
  • (4/5)
    This book apeals to older children, due to the fact that the story is longer and there are no illustrations to captivate the young mind. The moral of the story teaches about the lost of a parent which can be an emotional strain on the individual.Growing up and knowing what it felt like for the lost of a parent faced by my cousins can be not only emotional but depressing. Dealing with such a loss is an on going process which sometimes may never heal. However, the love that was shared between parent and child can be a silver lining.
  • (3/5)
    Sarah, Plain and Tall is an excellent book about school teacher that answers an ad asking for a woman to come and become a wife and a mother. Sarah leaves her home in Maine to go to a farm on the frontier to meet the widower with two children, a girl, Anna, and a boy Caleb. Sarah has to decide whether or not she wants to stay on the farm and become a wife and a mother or go back home to Maine. I really enjoyed reading this book the first time I read it in Elementary school and the second time I read it also. It is an excellent story about overcoming a lose and moving on with your lives and fitting in to a new place.In the classroom i would have the girl students write about what they would do if they were Sarah and the boy students to write about what they would do if they were the Papa of the two children.
  • (5/5)
    This simple, complex and delightful book is one of my favorites. I love the simplicity and the complexity of the characters and how this cobbled-together family learns to love each other. I think that many people can identify with Sarah when pines for the ocean, since she was somewhat a victim of her circumstances and didn't really want to leave.I use this book as one of my choices for my Newbery literature circles unit.
  • (4/5)
    As often happened on the prairie in the early frontier days, a wife and mother died and the father was left with small children without good care. A respectable custom of the day was to put an advertisement into the papers for a replacement as there were few unmarried eligible women in the sparsely populated frontier towns. People were practical and immediate needs were to be met. Sarah responds to the ad and comes on a trial basis. Will she be able to leave her beloved seacoast town and embrace this new family? Written in simple language and style and from the viewpoint of the lonely children longing for a mother.
  • (4/5)
    Sarah, Plain and Tall is the story of a family. The father places an ad in the news paper and Sarah responds. When she arrives everyone wonders what will happen. Will she adapt to this new life? Will the children like her? Will the harsh realities of her new surroundings cause her to retreat. This is a beautiful story of how people can overcome so much and learn to trust and love one another.After reading the book, students can work in groups and create a script for a play version of this story.
  • (5/5)
    This charming little book is the story of Sarah, a woman from Maine, and her meeting with the family of Caleb, Anna and Papa, who is looking for a wife in the Midwest.
  • (4/5)
    A sweet, realistic little story with lots of vivid imagery.
  • (5/5)
    Summary: This is story about a father and his two children, Caleb and Anna. They lived on the frontier and their mother had died after giving birth to Caleb. Their father, Jack, had requested a wife to come live with them and help raise Caleb and Anna. A woman named Sarah replied by mail. She exchanged letters with all of them before coming to stay. She quickly bonds with the family and learns how to maintain on the frontier. Personal Reaction: I loved this story. It takes you back in time and gives a great description of frontier life. This would make a good read for young readers in 5th grade or above. Classroom Extension Ideas:1. In the classroom, you can have a literature circle to discuss the book with the class.2. You can also have the children take time to write about their thoughts and feelings towards the book.
  • (3/5)
    Summary: This novel is all about family. The father of two children named Anna and Caleb, is in grief after losing his wife from the birth of Caleb, the youngest. Jacob has sent out an ad in the newspaper seeking a mail-order bride to help him take care of the children. Sarah, from Maine, has replied to his ad and travels to the western part of United States to be his wife. This story is told by Anna,the oldest of the two, she narrates the story like it's her diary. Overall, the children get to know Sarah and they end up loving her. They never want to lose her because they see her as the perfect mother figure. Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed this book because I love the great descriptions of all the different things they showed Sarah. This novel has a warm, relatable story-line. No matter what situation you have been in, I'm sure anyone can relate to having someone new come into their home and learning new things about it.Classroom Extensions: 1. The students will write about a time where they had an extended family member over or a new guest come into their home and visit. They will describe how they felt about it and what they showed the guests.2. The students can create a drawing of what they consider home and of anything that reminds them of home just like what Sarah did to show the children where she came from.
  • (4/5)
    This book won a Newbery Award in 1986, exploring different ideas of being lonely, being abandoned, and dealing with change. Jacob Witting is a widow, who is having to deal with the death of his wife, while having to raise two kids alone. Jacob puts an ad in the local newspaper for a mail-order bride, and a girl named Sarah, replies to his answer and travels from Maine to become his wife. I read this book when I was in grade school, but had to re-read it to understand what was going on. This book made me cry, because I would never want to picture my life without my husband, even thought I'm not married. It would be hard living on a farm and raising two kids alone with nobody to help you. In my room, I would have my students draw a picture of their family and have them write what they like most about their parents, and frame it for them to give as a gift.
  • (5/5)
    This is a classic tale enjoyed by all ages. It's a very short story but filled with lessons and humor that helps it to appeal to wide variety of people. Sarah is a young woman that leaves her home in hopes of getting married. She travels to a rural area to meet a widower and his two children that are in search of a wife and mother. This is a charming story that everyone should read at some point in time.
  • (5/5)
    This book is an example of historical fiction. It accurately represents life during that time period. The story is fictional, but the historical information helps the reader better understand this life style. The characterization and plot development are also imaginary. I would use this book in an intermediate classroom. No media is used in this book.
  • (3/5)
    Summary-The little boy caleb doesn't know his mother because she died shortly after giving birth to him.The dad puts an ad in the paper for a wife, and this lady from Maine becomes their new mother.Personal Reaction-It was a good book it showed a lot about coming together as a family.Classroom Extension-You can talk about animals because of the Cat named Seal. And then you can have like a newspaper area where you do like the little kids activities!
  • (4/5)
    There has been a hole in the Witting family since Anna’s mother died giving birth to her brother, Caleb. They miss the love, joy and music their mother brought into their prairie home. When Sarah, a plain, tall woman from coastal Maine, answers Jacob Witting’s request for a mail-order bride, everything seems perfect. But will Anna and Caleb be able to convince the homesick, landlocked Sarah to become a part of their family?Sarah, Plain and Tall is a simple and poignant story about a family in need of a mother. Anna’s first-person narration reminds the reader of the powerful need for a female role model in every little girl’s life. The novel won a Newbery Award in 1986.
  • (3/5)
    Yowza, that was short.

    (I read it on my electronic device, so wasn't prepared for it. My reader kept telling me things like I was on page 52 of 59, and I assumed that 59 represented 'Part 1' perhaps, but no.) It then included her speech upon recieving the Newberry, which she joked shouldn't be longer than the book itself, and it wasn't ... but it was close.

    So it wasn't the deep, rich experience that a fully tricked-out novel can be, but what I read I liked. It's a bit of an appetizer--I've ordered the next book to see how far that goes. Can't give it more than a high 3, but perhaps taken as a whole the entire series will pay off for me.

    (Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s).
  • (5/5)
    A family lived on the prarie. The mother died in childbirth, so the father sends away for a wife. They exchange letters with a lady from Maine named Sarah. She decides to visit. The children like her, but they are worried that she will want to go back to Maine. She fits in very well on their farm and she decides to stay.Personal Reaction I don't generally read historical fiction, but this was a good story. It flowed nicey and kept me engaged. It was a fairly short book at 58 pages. It had a good ending! Classroom Extension - I would read this book aloud in my classroom during a unit on the west.- I would use this as a small group book. The students could make a timeline of the story and note important events that happened.
  • (3/5)
    I loved this story. A man with 2 children mail orders a bride. Told from the perspective```` of the daughter. It is a sweet story, and was pleased to see it was a Newbery Medal winner.
  • (4/5)
    Although short - easily read in under an hour – this book proves worthy of the Newberry title that it was awarded. Although less detailed than other stories about pioneer families, “Sarah, Plain and Tall” stands out for its exploration of a family situation common during that period. The family lost their mother years before, and now Father sends for a new wife by mail. At first, he and the young children know her only by her letters. However, when Sarah eventually comes - bringing with her a longing for the sea and her native Maine - the question becomes, will she stay?Watch as a man meets a woman he does not know but plans to wed, and a woman far from home touches the lives of two children who earnestly wish she might become a song-singer, a button-sewer, and a hole-filler.
  • (3/5)
    I can't remember if I read this when I was a kid, but it was the perfect book to read without having to concentrate while fireworks were keeping me up all night.
  • (4/5)
    A good book I read as a child.
  • (5/5)
    In "Sarah, Plain and Tall," Anna and Caleb are both excited and nervous to meet Sarah, a young woman from Maine who may become their stepmother. She comes to stay with them on their little farm out on the prairie after she responds to their widower father's ad in the newspaper. Although the family grows fond of Sarah and she of them, the children are afraid that the hard, often lonely life of a frontier woman might cause her to chose to to return home. This highly acclaimed children's book by Patricia MacLachlan is still as satisfying a read today as it seems to have been when it was first released. The story is told from the point of view of Anna, the older and the more emotionally guarded of the two children. Great for the upper elementary school set, "Sarah, Plain and Tall" is a story full of subtlety that deals with complex relationships, more so than many other books for this age group. It will surely test their comprehension and critical thinking skills. Aside from the family drama, the book also depicts the struggles of life on the prairie in nineteenth-century America.
  • (5/5)
    From the back:
    Their mother died the day after Caleb was born. Their house on the prarie 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 Elizabeth 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 plina and tall, and tell them I sing. Anna and Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she like them? Will she stay?

    What an endearing story about how people used to live and think. It seems all so simple. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple life now. How people were match quite often didn’t have to do with if they loved each other, but if the circumstances were right.

    Sarah was nice, she did like them and she did stay.
  • (5/5)
    This book would be good to use when talking about the prairies and the early 19th century. I thinks students would like it because of how Sarah is trying to adjust to life on the farm.
  • (3/5)
    Decent, but I'm not sure how it became the literary cornerstone it seems to be.
  • (5/5)
    Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlanThis Newberry winner is about a family living in Kansas. The mother has died so the father decides to ask for a woman to come be a mother to his children. Sarah Wheaton comes from Maine and has lived by the sea so is not used to life on the plains. She is about to change Caleb and Anna’s life forever bringing a cat named Seal and laughter to the household. Will she like them enough to stay? Anna and Caleb begin to hope she will.I love this story. It is a timeless tale of how people wrote letters and advertisements to get someone to help them or even marry them. I think Sarah is like me in a way. I knew nothing about country life when I first moved to where I live now, but I learned and can carry a decent conversation about it now.I would use this story with second through fourth graders. I would discuss getting a new member of the family and how difficult that could be. I would ask them to read the book and then write a story about how they would feel if they were in a situation like Anna and Caleb were in.
  • (5/5)
    I've never had such a short story move me so intensely as this one did. A man has lost his loving wife and mother of his children. In the 1800's, pioneering on the prairies, he needed help to raise his children. Enter Sarah. She is looking for a life. She answers an ad in the newspaper and becomes a trial mail order bride. The way the four people in this story learn to blend their lives is heartwarming and beautiful.