Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan

sarah plain and tallI have wanted to read Sarah, Plain and Tall for years and years. Decades. It just never got onto my reading list till I stumbled across it this summer and it came to memory again.

This one is well-decorated. It took the Newbery, Scott O’Dell Award, and Kite Award in 1986—all prestigious honors. Did the book live up to its reputation? You bet it did. I LOVED this one.

Patricial MacLachlan has a sweet, eminently readable style. She makes you wish you were there on the great big American Plains and able to comfort the two young characters, Anna and Caleb, who lost their mother when Caleb was born. Their father writes away for a mail-order bride, and the woman who answers is able to fill the void left by his wife as well as carve a niche of her own the hearts of all three family members.

Squeaky AwardThis was a short read, barely an hour of my time, but those brief pages are filled with more love, more discovery, more joy than many tomes. Set in approximately 1910, it is driven by characters, relationships, and interaction, not plot. Sarah is a full, huge, wonderful personality. She’s warm and eager to please, yet she’s stubborn and unafraid to maintain her habits and opinions even in someone else’s domain. It is her laughter, her song, her wonder, and her willingness to live life fully that endear her to her new family as well as to readers.

This one reminds me a great deal of Anne of Green Gables. I highly recommend it to anyone who might have missed it thirty years ago as well as to a whole new generation of readers.

It’s available for Kindle for only 3.21!

8 thoughts on “Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan

  1. I love everything Patricia MacLachlan writes. Like you, this is one of the few books I’ve read because I’ve watched the movie so many times. I need to read it because I know it’s much better than the movie. Beautiful review. Her chapter book “Fly Away” is one of the top 110 Kirkus children’s book selection.

    1. Thanks, Pat, but I feel I’ve hardly done the book justice. It’s that good. I’d like to see the movie; I’ve refrained until I read the book. Thanks for telling me about “Fly Away”. I want to read it.

  2. This sounds great. I’m also plain and tall (no fashion sense (my “style” is blue-jeans and a geeky T-shirt), and 5’9″), so I will check this out! My sister is reading this in school right now. I think it is a shortened version but she says she likes it.

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