Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

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Annotation: Relates how Sarah Hale, a magazine editor and author, persuaded President Lincoln to transform Thanksgiving Day into a national holiday.
Genre: Holidays
Catalog Number: #3936
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Aladdin
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition Date: 2005
Illustrator: Faulkner, Matt,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-689-85143-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-06773-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-689-85143-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-06773-8
Dewey: 394.2649
LCCN: 2001049726
Dimensions: 22 x 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Sarah Hale was a magazine editor, mother, teacher, and feminist (though not a suffragette). She also saved Thanksgiving by imploring President Lincoln to declare it a national holiday. Appalled that Thanksgiving, a holiday that could bring people together, was being ignored by many Americans, she had appealed to several previous presidents--Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan--but only Lincoln responded. In 1863, Sarah saw Lincoln declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. Anderson gives an inherently interesting story an extra boost with a terse, amusing text (never underestimate dainty little ladies), but it is Faulkner's art, reminiscent of David Small's work in So You Want to Be President (2000), that stands out. The pictures are droll and funny, often going beyond the bounds of the text to make an ironic point. The back matter is particularly solid for a picture book; there's additional information about Hale and about Thanksgiving as well as a brief overview of the Civil War and of slavery. There will be many uses for this.
Horn Book
Exploring the origin and evolution of Thanksgiving, this book introduces readers to Sarah Hale, the woman who persuaded Lincoln to declare it a national holiday (and an ancestor of the author). Faulkner's lighthearted ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations, rich in humor and pop culture, successfully combine with the conversational narrative. A lengthy historical note is included. Bib.
Kirkus Reviews
The impish Faulkner ( The Monster Who Ate My Peas , 2001, etc.) illustrates this rousing account of Sarah Hale's campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday with crowds of caricatured celebrants in buckskins, football equipment, and every style of dress in between. ("Thanksgiving Canceled—No Football Today.") Anderson ( Catalyst , p. 1300, etc.), in a really silly mood, tells the tale with wide open theatricality: trumpeting, "WE ALMOST LOST . . . THANKSGIVING!" across a spread of dismayed diners and relieved looking turkeys, she introduces "a dainty little lady" as the holiday's champion. An unlikely hero? "Never underestimate dainty little ladies," the author warns, launching into a portrait of a 19th-century supermom—novelist, educator, magazine editor, widowed mother of five, eloquent supporter of many social causes and, yes, author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb"—who took on four Presidents in succession before finding one, Lincoln, who agreed with her that Thanksgiving, which had been largely a northeastern holiday, should be celebrated nationwide. "When folks started to ignore Thanksgiving, well, that just curdled her gravy." Dishing up a closing "Feast of Facts" about the day and the woman, Anderson offers readers both an indomitable role model and a memorable, often hilarious glimpse into the historical development of this country's common culture. The impish Faulkner ( The Monster Who Ate My Peas , 2001, etc.) illustrates this rousing account of Sarah Hale's campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday with crowds of caricatured celebrants in buckskins, football equipment, and every style of dress in between. ("Thanksgiving Canceled—No Football Today.") Anderson ( Catalyst , p. 1300, etc.), in a really silly mood, tells the tale with wide open theatricality: trumpeting, "WE ALMOST LOST . . . THANKSGIVING!" across a spread of dismayed diners and relieved looking turkeys, she introduces "a dainty little lady" as the holiday's champion. An unlikely hero? "Never underestimate dainty little ladies," the author warns, launching into a portrait of a 19th-century supermom—novelist, educator, magazine editor, widowed mother of five, eloquent supporter of many social causes and, yes, author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb"—who took on four Presidents in succession before finding one, Lincoln, who agreed with her that Thanksgiving, which had been largely a northeastern holiday, should be celebrated nationwide. "When folks started to ignore Thanksgiving, well, that just curdled her gravy." Dishing up a closing "Feast of Facts" about the day and the woman, Anderson offers readers both an indomitable role model and a memorable, often hilarious glimpse into the historical development of this country's common culture. Thank you, Anderson and Faulkner. (bibliography of sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4 Anderson turns a little-known historical tidbit into a fresh, funny, and inspirational alternative to the standard Thanksgiving stories. Alarmed that the observance was dying out since many states did not observe it at all and those that did had no agreement as to date, Sarah Hale began 38 years of letter writing in support of making it a national holiday. Ignored or refused by administration after administration, she persisted until at last, President Lincoln, possibly persuaded by her argument that it would help to reunite the union, declared the fourth Thursday in November as a national holiday in 1863. The writing sparkles and is well matched by the spirited and irreverent caricatures (including Native people and pilgrims with feathers in their headbands and hats). Lively and provocative sentences involve readers. Anderson doesn't state the facts; she reveals them, unveils them, and celebrates them, and her text certainly shows that persistence and eloquence can succeed. Faulkner takes every opportunity to provide visual humor. He draws Sarah and other ladies storming the doors of the state house with a giant quill pen as a battering ram. His busts of recalcitrant presidents and his graphic depiction of the "other things" President Buchanan had "on his mind" convey complex historical concepts while adding to the humorous tone of the book. A "Feast of Facts" gives more information on Thanksgiving, Hale, and the year 1863, and ends with the exhortation: "Pick up your pen. Change the world." Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 752
Reading Level: 3.7
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.7 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 62571 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.8 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q33467
Lexile: AD600L
Guided Reading Level: L

From the author of Speak and Fever, 1793, comes the never-before-told tale of Sarah Josepha Hale, the extraordinary "lady editor" who made Thanksgiving a national holiday!

Thanksgiving might have started with a jubilant feast on Plymouth's shore. But by the 1800s America's observance was waning. None of the presidents nor Congress sought to revive the holiday. And so one invincible "lady editor" name Sarah Hale took it upon herself to rewrite the recipe for Thanksgiving as we know it today. This is an inspirational, historical, all-out boisterous tale about perseverance and belief: In 1863 Hale's thirty-five years of petitioning and orations got Abraham Lincoln thinking. He signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation that very year, declaring it a national holiday. This story is a tribute to Hale, her fellow campaigners, and to the amendable government that affords citizens the power to make the world a better place!


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