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Sarah Gives Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday Hardcover – August 1, 2012


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Sarah Gives Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday + Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080757239X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807572399
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.8 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 1-5-More of a biography about Sarah Josepha Hale than a holiday book, this well-researched, engaging read-aloud offers youngsters a glimpse into the lives of women and families in 19th-century America as well as to the history of how Thanksgiving became a national holiday. More commonly known as the author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," Hale was actually a feminist before her time, despite her lack of formal education. When she became widowed with five young children, she wrote to support her family. Her book of poems and first novel led to a position as an editor at Ladies' Magazine. Unlike other magazines of the period, this publication ran articles on history, science, and schools for women. Hale went on to take a job as an "editress" at Lady's Book, making it "the most widely read magazine in the country." As her name and opinions gained popularity, she became an untiring advocate for making Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote editorials and petitioned four different presidents over the course of 36 years, until Abraham Lincoln finally proclaimed the last Thursday of November a holiday in 1863. Generous, full-spread watercolor illustrations add humor and colorful details about costume, home, publishing, and political life during this period. Libraries that own Laurie Halse Anderson's Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving (S & S, 2002) will still want this fresh, accessible offering.-Barbara Auerbach, PS 217, Brooklyn, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Sarah Josepha Hale was already a published writer when her husband died, in 1822. To support her five young children, she became a novelist and, eventually, the editor of “the most widely read magazine in America,” Godey’s Lady’s Book. Over time, Hale took up various causes, but, beginning in 1826, she worked to make Thanksgiving “a national festival and observed by all our people.” Each year, she promoted the holiday in her magazine, encouraged leaders to get behind it, and sent a request to the president. Finally, in 1863, Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday. The informative text is clearly written, and the watercolor artwork is fluid and engaging. Indicating the passage of time in a picture book is challenging, but Gardner manages by showing Sarah aging, her children growing up, and a succession of U.S. presidents receiving her written requests. An author’s note and source bibliography round out this rewarding picture book on Hale and her role in the history of Thanksgiving. Grades 1-3. --Carolyn Phelan

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The illustrations by David Gardner are wonderful.
Stacy
Educators,young readers and older students will enjoy this wonderful story with beautiful illustrations.
My Book Addiction and More
Until I read this book, I had no idea how important Sarah Josepha Hale was to our country.
Jyotsna Sreenivasan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Celeste on September 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We purchased this book for our son based on the recommendation of a family member, and found it to be an interesting and inspirational story. My recommendation would be for the author to write about more of our national holidays in future books, since it really helps children understand the true meaning of a holiday, as opposed to it being "just another day off from school".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stacy on September 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book, because I met the author through the blogosphere. I read the book, because it's an interesting story. Mike Allegra weaves a lot of information into this picture book about Sarah Hale and her efforts to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. It also shares a story of how a single mom managed to support her family in a man's world -- a 19th century man's world. The historical facts are educational and presented in an entertaining manner. The illustrations by David Gardner are wonderful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dad of Divas TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Do you ever wonder how our national holiday called THANKSGIVING began? Well this true story describes the history of the holiday and the woman who endlessly fought for it to become the celebrated day it is today.

Sarah Josepha Hall was widowed young with five children and had to find a way to support them. She turned to writing and became a well known writer and editor. It took Sarah 36 years until she found a president, Abraham Lincoln, who issued the proclamation declaring a national day of thanksgiving.

Sarah was also instrumental in supporting and furthering the education of women in the 1800's. What courage and strength for a women to do that so long ago.

I feel our young women today need to learn about these brave women who were instrumental not only in focusing on the rights of women, but in the institutions of education, family, and tradition.
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Format: Hardcover
How did the American tradition of Thanksgiving come to be established? In the 1820s, 200 years after the Pilgrims' celebration, different states observed the holiday on different days, and most southern states didn't observe it at all. That was when Sarah Josepha Hale turned her considerable talent and persistence toward establishing a national holiday. She wrote about it in her magazine, Godey's Lady's Book, she wrote to governors and other leaders, and she wrote an annual letter to the President asking him to establish a day of giving thanks. She ended up writing to five Presidents: Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, and finally Lincoln. In the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln finally agreed with Mrs. Hale, and on October 3, 1863, Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

This excellent picture book tells us more about Sarah Hale, showing how this remarkable woman badgered her brother into passing on his college education to her during his breaks. She continued her independent education in the company of her beloved husband, who encouraged her to publish her writing. Then when he died, she gave thanks to God for having known him - and courageously worked to support her family. Being left alone with five children in a time when women didn't work outside the home was a desperate crisis. But through hard work and persistence she became a successful "editress," as she insisted on being called, and then went on to establish a tradition that has shaped our culture for 150 years.

This story stands out among juvenile biographies for its interest and accessibility. Appealingly and skillfully illustrated, it's visually appealing, and the pictures carry a large part of the story. The writing is smooth and evocative, and really highlights the humanity of the person in focus. It's an excellent read.
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By mrs.m on June 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gave them out to friends at Thanksgiving. Good for school kids. Family member took inservice class for teachers and was shown book. But lots.
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By LB on March 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I borrowed this book from the library and when I read it to my students, they enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed it also and felt I needed to add it to my classroom library. I highly recommend it because of the easy dialogue and the beautiful pictures.
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Format: Hardcover
The inspiring story of the woman who helped make Thanksgiving a national holiday.

This is a lovely Thanksgiving picture book. The illustrations are very pleasing to my eyes. Often the books on Thanksgiving are filled with pilgrims and Indians of North America. These stories are important, but so is the political aspect of the holiday, which this biographical book delves into. This is an inspirational book for American History and the strength of one voice. Sarah Hale is a strong woman and one for our young girls to find inspiration in.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.
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