Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah, Plain and Tall is a slim book I found in the children's section years ago. However, it's really a book for adults told in simple language that people still learning how to read English can handle. There's nothing to make you blanch if a kid does find it, but most kids will be bored by this simple, somewhat delicate tale. {Smile}

I recently reread it after recommending it to a friend of the family who's teaching "advanced beginners" English as a second language. She loves it, and so do her students. {Smile}

It is told from the view point of Anna, a girl who lives with her little brother, Caleb, and their Papa on a farm on rolling plains in inland America. (Their mother died just after Caleb was born.) However, it is really the story of Sarah, who answers a personal ad Papa put out when he decided he needed a wife. They each write to her, and she answers back. Then she comes to see what they and their home are like. She's from the coast of Maine. She finds that people talk funny, saying "yes" when they mean "ayup." Plus, there's no dunes, no sand, no shore, and no sea. Instead, there's lots of grass, and farm animals, and Anna and Caleb and their Papa. {pause} Sarah particularly misses the sea. Since the children really like her, they are afraid she will go back to Maine.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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