Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (1985)

Jacob Witting is a grieving widower with two young children in the late 1800’s.  He’s struggling to run his mid-western farm and raise his daughter and son alone.  In desperation, he places an ad for a mail-order bride.  Sarah, a lonely, single woman living on the coast of Maine, responds.  The children are concerned.  Will she like them?  Will they like her?  Will she miss the ocean?  Will she stay?  Do they want her to?


This small, beautifully written book is the first in a series of five:  Sarah, Plain and Tall, Skylark, Caleb’s Story, More Perfect Than the Moon and Grandfather’s Dance.  The first three books were filmed as for made-for-TV movies starring Glenn Close and Christopher Walken.

At only 58 pages, Sarah, Plain and Tall won both the Newberry Medal and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction in 1986.  I have such cozy memories of snuggling on the couch reading this to my three little girls back in the 1980’s.  Sarah, Plain and Tall is sweet, thoughtful and often humorous.  You’ll love it!

Early and Middle Grade Reading Level, 58 pages, Historical Fiction, American History, Published in 1985.

About kidsbooksworthreading

Are you looking for Children’s and Young Adult books that have stood the test of time? I have a master of list of over 600 titles to share. I’m an English major, mother of five and homeschooler for 15 years. My purpose with this blog is to share forgotten favorites that most parents today have never heard of, but are so worth reading! I hope you’ll join with me as I share the best that Youth Literature has to offer.
This entry was posted in Early Grade Reading Level, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Reading Level and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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