Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

  Sarah, Plain and Tall  by Patricia MacLachlan

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. HarperCollins, 1985.

One of my favorites from childhood. Simply written but vivid and moving.

Short sentences and accessible vocabulary are used, but this does nothing to slow or dilute the story. Characterization of the narrator, Anna, is not that clearly drawn and Caleb seems emotionally about five, but intellectually seven or so (he can read and drive a wagon), so there seem to be some inconsistencies with character, but the setting and Sarah’s character sing. The reader sees the prairie and the shores of Maine and knows well Sarah’s longing for home and growing love for her new family. Escalating tension gives an authentic feel, showing life on the prairie, but all centered on whether Sarah will stay or go back to Maine. She stays, of course. I can see why the movie version added a few subplots (if I remember correctly). This is a simple, almost poetic book. Great for a beginning (and probably female) reader.

I'm so Frankweilerely Mixed Up!

I'm so Frankweilerely Mixed Up!

Things St. Nick does *instead* of schoolwork

Things St. Nick does *instead* of schoolwork