THANK YOU, SARAH : THE WOMAN
WHO SAVED THANKSGIVING
New York : Simon & Schuster
Books for Young Readers, 2002
IL K-3, RL 4.4
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you know that you have Sarah Josepha Hale to thank for the Thanksgiving
holiday every November? Born on October 24, 1788, Sarah Hale, widow
and mother of five, persistently wrote to six American Presidents, lobbying
for the necessity of a national holiday to commemorate the first American
feast between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. In 1863, Abraham
Lincoln finally came through, making Thanksgiving a national holiday. Laurie
Halse Anderson’s wonderful, non-traditional informational picture book
takes a humorous but perceptive look at the life of this forgotten American
hero, arguing throughout that we should “Never underestimate dainty little
ladies.” In addition to “saving Thanksgiving,” Hale wrote “Mary Had a Little
Lamb” and other children’s stories, was the first woman to serve as editor
of an American magazine, and published famous authors like Edgar Allan
Poe. Matt Faulkner’s entertaining watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations
provide funny asides (like a mountain of petitions sitting outside the
State House behind Sarah and eight other irate women who converge on this
building with “Go Away; We’re Busy” printed on its façade) will
keep readers entertained while they learn history. Following the story,
Anderson adds some pertinent factual information about thanksgiving celebrations
that preceded the one in 1621, how the Thanksgiving holiday fared after
Lincoln, how football and parades became a tradition, milestones of the
year 1863, the Civil War, and a more detailed biography of Sarah Hale.
Known more for her Young Adult Fiction, Anderson makes a wonderful and
informative contribution to historical non-fiction through this innovative
picture book. This is, by far, the best historical children’s picture
book I’ve read in a long time. (Michelle Martin, South
Carolina Book Awards, 2006)
Thanksgiving Day -- History.
United States -- Social life and customs.
Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell, 1788-1879.
Permission is granted for the
noncommercial duplication and use of this resource, provided it is substantially
unchanged from its present form and appropriate credit is given.