Sarah, Plain and Tall
Sarah, Plain and Tall

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Annotation: When their father invites a mail-order bride to come to live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by her and hope that she will stay.
Catalog Number: #260245
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
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Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Teaching Materials Receive a FREE Teacher's Guide for this title with a purchase of 20 or more copies of this book. You do not need to add a copy of the Teacher's Guide to your list, it will be automatically included with your order after the minimum number of copies is ordered.
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 1985
Edition Date: 2004
Pages: 67 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-440205-3 Perma-Bound: 0-8479-9179-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-440205-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8479-9179-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 83049481
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
MacLachlan's prairie family stories, which include the 1986 Newbery Medal winner Sarah, Plain and Tall, receive an endearing treatment by Glenn Close, who uses playful, light tones and delightful breaks in inflection to represent characters Anna, Caleb, and, of course, Sarah. The occasional text omissions, insertions, variations, and elisions are more than balanced by the loving care Close puts into her recitation. The only complaint is that Close doesn't sing the musical couplet written in Middle English to celebrate the end of winter (Sumer is icumen in) that Sarah includes in her titular plain and tall letter. An interview with author Patricia MacLachlan rounds out this fine recording.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Glenn Close narrates Patricia MacLachlan's beautiful novels on this fine audio collection. Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of Sarah, who came from Maine to answer Jacob's advertisement for a wife and mother, all from the point of view of young Anna. The classic story continues in Skylark, as Anna and her brother, Caleb, must travel with their new mother, Sarah, to Maine when a terrible drought threatens their home. Caleb picks up the story several years later in Caleb's Story, telling of the return of his grandfather, who had abandoned the family when Caleb's father was a young boy. Close, who played the role of Sarah in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of the first book, creates distinct voices for each character without ever resorting to theatrics. Anna and Caleb's voices mature as listeners progress through the stories, and Close's carefully unobtrusive narration showcases MacLachlan's simple yet poetic words. An interview with Patricia MacLachlan at the end of the collection gives students more information about the author's life and writing process, and about the real-life inspiration for Sarah. A beautiful collusion of an excellent story with a perfect narrator, and a treat for all listeners.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Word Count: 8,377
Reading Level: 3.4
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.4 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 137 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.2 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q10009
Lexile: 650L
Guided Reading Level: R
Fountas & Pinnell: R
Sarah, Plain and Tall

Chapter One

"Did Mama sing every day?" asked Caleb. "Every-single-day? " He sat dose 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, muff 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? I "

"And I was," Caleb finished.

Caleb thought the story was over, and 1, 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.

Sarah, Plain and Tall. Copyright © by Patricia MacLachlan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

"Did Mama sing every day?" Caleb asks his sister Anna.

"Every-single-day," she answers. "Papa sang, too."

This 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. Sarah, Plain and Tall gently explores themes of abandonment, loss and love.

Supports the Common Core State Standards


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