Friday, January 30, 2009

GREAT Read-aloud: Patricia Maclachlan's series

We are soooo enjoying our current read-aloud series: Patricia MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall. Ms. Maclachlan wrote five books for this series about rural life on the Plains at the end of the 19th Century.

  1. Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of mail-order bride Sarah's trip from Maine to Kansas to marry widower Jacob and help raise his two children, Anna and Caleb. Narrated by Anna, this is a wonderful story of love and family.

  2. Skylark tells the story of drought-ridden Kansas and Sarah's trip back to Maine with Anna and Caleb to meet the "aunts". Narrated by Anna, this is a wonderful story of loyalty and staying together through any calamity.

  3. Caleb's Story tells the story the expansion of the Witting family with the arrival of a long-lost relative. Told through the eyes of Caleb, this is the longest of the books and has the most depth (I think, anyway!).

  4. More Perfect than the Moon tells the story of a new arrival, "more perfect than the moon" and Cassie's fear of the whole event! Told through the eyes of eight-year-old Cassie, this is a wonderful story about fear (from a child's viewpoint) of adding a baby to a family that is perfectly happy without the "terrible baby".

  5. Grandfather's Dance tells the story of family reunions and life and death as the Wittings celebrate Anna's wedding and Grandfather's dying. Again, told through Cassie's eyes, this is a beautiful story of life going on, of the importance of family and of the naturalness of death.

These are great stories ... not overly long ... but with a depth and an emotional level that make them classics. We also love the Glenn Close/Christopher Walken movies of the first three books; they are very close to the original and keep the same actors/actresses throughout the years (suitably aged of course).

These books would also make great first chapter books, at least my kids think so!


Juli said...

We've already read the first two a while back and are reading Caleb's story right now. I didn't even know there were two more! Thanks. I'm going to see if my library has them right now.

Aliadelaide said...

Wow we are so excited we didn't know there was a fifth! I agree with you about all the others, they are fabulous. I also downloaded them from where I think they are read very well

Carmen said...

So weird...We just checked out the first three books on CD today from the library! How strange is that?
I'm praying for God's will for you. We do miss you out here of course!