Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Patricia MacLachlan
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Anna and Caleb are two young children living in a small home on the prairie. Their mother dies shortly after Caleb’s birth and their father starts to look for a new wife. Sarah, a plain and tall woman from Maine responds to the ad in the paper. She promises to stay for a month to see how they get along. The children desperately want a mother, but are afraid to get their hopes up. In the end, Sarah chooses to stay despite their quirks and her longing for home.
Sarah, Plain and Tall is the first book in a series of five. Children will become emotionally invested in this simple yet enchanting book. Children who have experienced death of a loved one will especially relate to Anna and Caleb. Patricia MacLachlan is a talented descriptive writer, making readers feel like they are picking flowers in the field with Anna and Caleb and getting to know Sarah day by day. This book would make for a great read aloud in the classroom. The final pages of the book include discussion questions that align with Common Core standards, which would be well suited for a class discussion after students read this book independently or a teacher reads it aloud to the class.