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Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving Paperback – October 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This tale of a little-known historical heroine touts the power of the pen and persistence. With an irreverent tone ("You think you know everything about Thanksgiving, don't you?") and caricatures that play up past Americans' laissez-faire attitude, Anderson (Speak) and Faulkner (The Amazing Voyage of Jackie Grace) chart the progress of Sarah Hale, whose relentless letters and 38 years of petitioning presidents, secured Thanksgiving's status as a national holiday. A hilarious spread of presidents Taylor and Filmore passing the buck to Pierce (Lincoln finally makes the day official in 1863) typifies the balance of humor and history in this snappy volume. An afterword offers additional delectable facts (e.g., FDR tried moving up the holiday in 1939 and '40 to extend the holiday shopping season; Hale also wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb"). Ages 5-10.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD350L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068985143X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689851438
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hello
This is my first Amazon Review. I usually can't get my lazy self to write a review even when for an excellent high quality work such as this one.

But this book is so exceptionally well done that not only did it motivate me to write a review, it motivated me to buy some copies of it so I could give it to my kid's school and their cousins. The book's writer (and illustrator) go to great lengths to make it entertaining and very informative.

I think the really good reviewers have already written good reviews of this book, so let me just give a quick list of "Pros/Cons"

Pro:
----
* The message: The story is about a great American, hard work, and the ability of one persistent person to make a difference
* The humor: The humor of this book is not ugly or over the top, it is on two levels so it would make both parents and kids crack up. Humor is expressed both through text and the illustrations. This book is not a serious narration of facts.
* The organization: The book is really in two parts. The first section is the richly illustrated low-text exposition of what Sarah did. Then there is a detailed bio about Sarah and a little history about her time.
* Sensitivity: The book is written from a liberal perspective (in the non-political meaning of the phrase), it doesn't look down on Sarah (even when explaining that she wasn't your typical woman's rights advocate), it doesn't demonize the south, it doesn't whitewash the north. The illustrator draws depictions from every kind of American -- not just the white ones that I grew up seeing in my books about Thanksgiving when I was a child.
* Respect: Even though this book is short, it doesn't disrespect its readers, even the youngsters, by oversimplifying anything.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Yippie-Skippie for Laurie Halse Anderson, a descendant of Sarah Josepha Buell Hale! Laurie seems to be every bit as bold, brave, stubborn and smart as her main character, Sarah. This 2002 juvenile literature has loose Rockwell-like drawings in soft, harvest colors. Each page logically flows into the text with innocence and humor as Laurie tells of her 'heroine with pen' in a uniquely modern, conversational fashion that evokes the spirit of forging ahead into new frontiers. She makes it easy for children to grasp the idea of tackling and persevering a task to get it done right. In Sarah's case, quality took time, something our fast-paced children can't hear enough. It's an eventful book of fact, feelings and hard work that are so necessary for successful results. Boys will have an appreciation for Sarah's fortitude (not just in football season) and girls will be inspired to carry on the overseeing spirit of Sarah. Laurie really makes history a fun read! Thank you, Laurie! You are most kind to carry on the "get-to-it-to-get-it-done" attitude that obviously runs through your veins! The pen IS mightier than the sword.

Patricia Watkins, author of BOYD-FRIEND
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By A Customer on September 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was delighted to stumble upon "Thank You, Sarah" and was very impressed with its fine illustrations and attention to historical detail. It teaches an important lesson about the history of an important American holiday that nearly wasn't; it shows the importance of perseverance in pushing for change while maintaining faith in your convictions. Most of all, it is a fun read whose pictures will entertain readers of all ages. This well-edited book explores a fascinating chapter in American history that will be interesting for young readers and those reading to them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every elementary and middle school teacher who covers social studies, writing, or Thanksgiving should include this book in their curriculum.
Beyond the facts, this book is a lesson in persistence, in the value of writing, and in the capacity of people to influence their world.
The illustrations are delightful and engaging!
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Format: Paperback
If you want to increase people's knowledge about the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States -- and provide them with a model of perseverance -- _Thank You, Sarah_ by Laurie Halse Anderson will perfectly fill the bill.

Did you know that in the early 1800s, before Thanksgiving was a national holiday, people celebrated Thanksgiving at different times -- or ignored it altogether? The holiday was in danger of dying out completely. Sarah Hale, however, believed not only that Thanksgiving should be preserved but that the entire nation should celebrate it on the same day.

Sarah Hale championed many causes. She favored education for girls, and she opposed corsets -- to name only two. Sarah set about to change the world by writing letters. (She was also the first female magazine editor in America, and she wrote poetry, novels, and biographies as well. She even wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb," based on an experience she had as a teacher.)

In her campaign to have everyone in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving on the same day, Sarah wrote thousands of letters -- and she inspired thousands of other women to write letters, too. Her crusade continued for 38 years, and she appealed to five United States Presidents before Thanksgiving was made a national holiday.

Laurie Halse Anderson's lively story is perfectly complemented by Matt Faulkner's illustrations. The story is followed by "A Feast of Facts," four pages of additional information about the development of Thanksgiving traditions and about Sarah Hale and the time in which she lived.

_Thank You, Sarah_ increases readers' appreciation of Thanksgiving, introduces us to an inspiring woman, and encourages us that our individual efforts can make a difference in the world.
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