Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thank You, Sarah! The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving” as Want to Read:
Thank You, Sarah! The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Thank You, Sarah! The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  1,254 Ratings  ·  236 Reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. By the 1800s, people were forgetting Thanksgiving! That all changed the day Sarah Hale picked up her pen and wrote a letter. More steadfast than Plymouth Rock, this "lady editor" started a campaign that would outlast four decades, five presidents, and the Civil War, to put Thanksgiving Day on the calendar.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Turtleback Books (first published October 1st 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about Thank You, Sarah! The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
A very neat story, interesting history lesson for kids (and adults who, like me, are not up with their Sarah Hale lessons!) Especially great around this time of year--could you imagine if we didn't celebrate Thanksgiving anymore? Or if only certain states did? Oh-my! Thank you, Sarah (and President Lincoln!) Also a good story about what persistence and spirit can do--how one woman's constant letters saved this holiday. (And especially inspiring considering most women of her time were not empower ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an entertaining and conversational picture book that details the life of Sarah Hale, the woman responsible for writing thousands of letters to state and federal leaders in support of various causes and policies.

She encouraged five different Presidents of the United States to establish the last Thursday in November as a national holiday celebrating Thanksgiving, and President Lincoln finally granted her wish.

The narrative is fun to read aloud and serves as an empowering and motivating s
Meg McGregor
Nov 22, 2014 Meg McGregor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday-reads
What a wonderful read and one that can be enjoyed any day - not just Thanksgiving!

But to think, our country would not have this blessed holiday, without the efforts of Sarah Hale.

This story is told with humor, wacky illustrations, and informative facts which all blend together to make this book one that should definitely be read in November and every time of the year.

There is so much to learn too.

Did you know that Sarah Hale was the person who wrote, "Mary Had a Little Lamb"? She was teaching s
Andrea Hussey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2013 Ruhama rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Need another book about Thanksgiving, but one with a little twist? This is the story of how Thanksgiving almost wasn’t a holiday, and how one woman lobbied to get it an official national holiday. Sarah Hale used the power of the written word, and patience, to get her message to
several presidents. Abraham Lincoln finally agreed, and in 1863 it was appointed to the 4th Thursday of November. There is “A Feast of Facts” at the end of the book, which goes into more detail about the various aspects of
Ashley Thorpe
This book was very interesting. The pages bleed from each of the pages and the pages are full of color and bright. The text is all the same and when reading it, it feels likes a child it writing it because it talks about the women as "awesome". As well, the words are simple for children to read. I enjoyed that the text was simple to read and some words were big if they page before was left on a cliff hanger. I laughed when some of the words that would usually be a curse or inappropriate word for ...more
Nikki Glassley
I have a Thanksgiving problem.

I LOVE Thanksgiving. That's not the problem.

I am invited each year to visit grade school classrooms to read stories and do crafts before Thanksgiving. That's not the problem either.

The problem is Thanksgiving has a shit history. Colonial America, as a whole, kind of has a shit history. How do I celebrate a holiday with children while respecting the actual nature of the relationship between pilgrims and the Native Americans?

Mostly by completely ignoring it.

Thank Yo
Jan 26, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i bought this book on a whim while on holiday in boston - good souvenir to share with my students i thought. turns out to be a perfect book for teaching persuasive writing, or even just writing in general, or just pursuing dreams. this woman (sarah hale) was amazing. the style of the book is a hoot - better for older readers like 5th grade on up sort of thing. my 10th graders loved it. i just wish writers would stop using words like "hoe" in books for kids - without fail my students would snicke ...more
Sam Bloom
Entertaining, informative, and funny - another great nonfiction book for kids. I'm actually embarrassed to say that, before reading this, I wouldn't have been able to tell you who Sarah Hale was. Laurie Halse Anderson's conversational style of writing blends perfectly with Matt Faulkner's cartoonish illustrations, and the afterword, "A Feast of Facts" (Get it? Feast... Thanksgiving...) is pretty darn interesting. For example, did you know that in 1939 and 1940 FDR declared Thanksgiving on the TH ...more
Burbank Library Children's Department
Did you know we almost lost the Thanksgiving holiday? Thankfully, Sarah Hale, a little known historical heroine came along and spent 38 years writing letters to a succession of presidents before Lincoln made it an official holiday in 1863. This fun, colorful picture book biography charts the course of Sarah's campaign as well as other fun facts about her life (she wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb" too). What an amazing book about a remarkable woman. Check it out!
Maggie Burgess
Jul 11, 2015 Maggie Burgess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why have I never heard of this amazing woman?! Not only did she save Thanksgiving, and write "Mary Had A Little Lamb", but she sounds like a true inspiration and an overall strong woman. This book will teach young girls (and boys!) to fight for what they believe in, to really stick with it, and to never give up. The book will teach kids the history of Thanksgiving in our country in an entertaining way- it's not at all boring or dry! Highly recommend this one!
Michelle Kelley
Fascinating picture book about Sarah Hale whose accomplishments included petitioning several presidents for a national Thanksgiving holiday which was finally approved by Abraham Lincoln. She also wrote, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and as the first American editor of a major magazine, published authors such as Poe, Hawthorne, Irving, She was a strong advocate of education for women.
Nov 01, 2013 Kendra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thanksgiving
I LOVED this book. Absolutely adored it. A must read - every year! I love non-fiction historical picture books and I love that this book highlighted a strong female and her role in helping Thanksgiving become a National Holiday. Go check it out and read it to your kids (especially your daughters!).
Laurie Brumbaugh
Nov 19, 2015 Laurie Brumbaugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I love Thanksgiving, so I loved learning about how it became a national holiday. Thank you, Sarah Hale! (Did you know she also wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb"? I didn't!) This would make a great read-aloud for classrooms, libraries, or even around your Thanksgiving table. And it sends a positive message about perseverance.
Nov 19, 2014 June rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thanksgiving and women history requests
Recommended to June by: listopia
Fantastic! Woman superhero proves the pen is mightier than the sword.

Hopefully, I will get to read this to a 3rd grade class next week.

Used with a first grade class.

Third grade class made it and use it with them.
Nice art, somewhat simplified story with some iffy facts in it. The source notes while interesting are out of order focusing more on the "fun" aspects of Thanksgiving then the books subject Sarah Hale. However it is better then the Squanto book I just read hence the three stars.
Natalie VanDusen
Very interesting. I loved the author's tone and the way the story progressed. You could tell it was very well researched.
This true story about how Sarah Hale set her mind to getting Thanksgiving to be national holiday. It tells her story with fun and well illustrationed pictures. I loved everything about this book.
Olivia Kelly
I chose this book because of Thanksgiving being next week and am I glad I did! It will be a great book to share with young children at Thanksgiving get-togethers, not only bringing them a giggle and a smile but giving them historic knowledge as well. I personally had never known how Thanksgiving came to be a national holiday and this was a great way to learn. When reading this book, children will also learn about activism and persistence through Sarah Hale's THIRTY-EIGHT year (wow that's a long ...more
Matthew Hunter
Does the name Sarah Josepha Hale ring a bell? No? Well, it will once you've read Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving. Her decades-long mission to have Thanksgiving designated a national holiday is given an epic and heroic treatment by Laurie Halse Anderson and Matt Faulkner.

I didn't know that Hale's persistence finally moved President Lincoln in 1863 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. The timing in the midst of the Civil War has a Jeremiah-buying-property-in-the-middle-of-a-
Rosa Cline
Dec 06, 2016 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thanksgiving, 2016
This is a very different Thanksgiving book it's also a History book. Introducing children (and adults) to Historical people and events that we may not have been 'introduced' to. Back in the 1800's women never was acknowledged to do anything other than 'housewife' stuff. But in this one Sarah is working toward something she believed in, writing letters and standing up for things. Very nicely written storybook.
Ashley Jacobson
Dec 06, 2016 Ashley Jacobson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-holiday
This is a good story about history and a woman who insists Thanksgiving should be a national holiday. She writes many presidents until she is finally successful. It could be read to children of preschool age, but it would be better appreciated by older kids. There is nothing striking about this book, but it's worth the read for the fun history.
Jo Oehrlein
Sarah Hale was a writer and magazine editor who used the power of the pen (and a lot of persistence) to make a difference in the world. She wrote each President asking him to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She was repeatedly turned down until Abraham Lincoln agreed.
The Tep
Nov 28, 2016 The Tep rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like all her books, I LOVED this! Laurie Halse Anderson does it again! This book is a great piece of historical fiction, written in a way for children to understand. The illustrations are AMAZING! Every young girl... or old... should read this to feel empowered and to never give up!
This one arrived too late for Thanksgiving storytime, but I'm glad I got to read it - I never knew that Sarah Hale was responsible for making Thanksgiving the nationwide celebration that it has become. Fascinating story, would be good for older preschoolers or for school age kids.
Leona Petrovic
Jan 03, 2017 Leona Petrovic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know she wrote this book, haha. My younger sister borrowed it from the library, but Thanks Sarah for saving Thanksgiving.
Nov 07, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
Really interesting read about how Thanksgiving became a national holiday. Was inspired by Sarah Hale's effort and perseverance...krb 11/7/16
Jessica Lauber
Dec 06, 2016 Jessica Lauber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I had no idea about Sarah Hale. The illustrations were different, but I liked them. Must read in the fall!
Engaging and well written book about Sarah Hale, who is credited with persuading Abraham Lincoln to institute thanksgiving as a national holiday.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
MCC Children's Li...: Thank You, Sarah - Challice 1 1 Apr 04, 2012 07:23PM  
  • The Thanksgiving Door
  • Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin
  • Noah Webster and His Words
  • You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer
  • Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving
  • What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!
  • Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln (Big Words)
  • Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote
  • Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children
  • Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum
  • The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever
  • Thanks for Thanksgiving
  • The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth
  • Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills
  • Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'
  • Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything
  • Sarah Gives Thanks
  • Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington

Ask box is open, my friends! What do you want to know?


The final book in my thrilling historical trilogy about the American Revolution, ASHES, will be published October 4, 2016!

I recently answered all kinds of great questions over at Reddit. Check it out for loads about my writing process and my books:

For bio stuff: Laurie Halse Anderson is the New Yor
More about Laurie Halse Anderson...

Share This Book

“Thanksgiving was in trouble. It needed…

No, not that kind.

Thanksgiving needed a real superhero, someone bold and brave and stubborn and smart.
Thanksgiving needed Sarah Hale.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. She doesn’t look like a superhero. She looks like a dainty little lady.

Never underestimate dainty little ladies.”
“Never underestimate dainty little ladies.” 0 likes
More quotes…