Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2010
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:
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* 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. The history lesson even clarifies how bad our country acted at times (explaining how the Navajo were treated during the civil war)

Con:
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O.K. So this isn't really a major knock, but the hard cover book could be a little sturdier. It is fairly well bound but I felt the pages could be a little thicker so they would survive a class room for years.

Good job Laurie & Matt! This book left me with a very good feeling.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2002
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2004
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 9, 2009
My eight year old daughter and I just borrowed this from the library and read it for the first time tonight. We just loved it. It was funny, charming and impressive. I had no idea about Sara Hale saving Thanksgiving.

I love the illustrations by Matt Faulkner and the way the author incorporates humor into this story. The message isn't about Thanksgiving it's about perseverence and the fact that one person can make a differece. Two hugely important lessons that I don't think we can share too often with our children.

I would think this book would be very popular with elementary school teachers and librarians and it could tie in very nicely with the first grade curriculum (where we live) on letter writing.

Nice work Laurie Halse Anderson and Matt Faulkner!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2009
A good children's book with a woman role model that shows the importance of perserverance. Also, some surprising facts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2011
I thought this book sounded wonderful, but it's just "ok". It has good information in it - particularly the afterword - and it has a good message. What I didn't like were the comparisons to superheros and the pictures that were very football oriented - that did not appeal to my daughter at all. It was written more to appeal to boys I think, which is ironic considering it's a book about a woman with the potential to motivate girls to be politically active. By making the comparisons to football and boy appealing pictures it makes it just sort of "ok" for boys or girls. It could have been a really inspiring book for girls if done differently.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2003
I really loved this book and consider it important for my children to have on our shelf...something they can pick up for both grins & inspiration. It also includes one of my favorite lines ever..."Never underestimate dainty little ladies." This is a true story about a woman who never gives up writing letters to get amazing things accomplished. One of them includes making Thanksgiving an American national holiday. However...it's a hard book to find on Amazon. You (Amazon)have the author and illustrator mixed up. It was written by Laurie Halse Anderson. Illustrated by Matt Faulkner. (I have the book in my hand as I write this.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book tells the tale of Sarah Hale, Civil War Superhero, the woman who saved Thanksgiving. Sarah's crusade took 38 years and lasted through 4 presidencies. She used the tool/weapon of her pen with her persistence. Finally, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.

The author's notes provide more information on Sarah and encourage students to use Sarah as an example and use their pens to exact change. Indeed, although students cannot vote - they have the power for their voices to be heard through words
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