Parents' Guide to

Sarah, Plain and Tall

By Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Warm family story of children's wish for a mother.

Sarah, Plain and Tall Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 1 parent review

age 6+

Wonderfully written, makes a great audiobook listen too

A beautiful story about a farming family and the children's wish for a mother. It's such a sweet and beautiful book — winner of the 1985 Newberry Medal and it's so easy to see why. Serious themes are addressed in the book, like the death of the children's birth mother, but in a straightforward manner and as part of the backstory so it isn't too sad for young kids.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Sarah, Plain and Tall showcases author Patricia MacLachlan's immense talents. She portrays family life in such simple language and heartwarming scenes, readers almost don't realize the depth of feeling that's building -- until we do. Anna and Caleb's longing for a mother is below the surface of every question they ask and every move they make, as they get to know Sarah and wonder what she will decide.

This is a beautiful and meaningful story for kids who enjoy family-centered books. It also can be a great read-aloud to share even with kids who prefer more action-packed fiction; sometimes kids need to be led a bit to perceive the impact of a book that seems this quiet.

Book Details

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