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 ·  1,134 Ratings  ·  205 Reviews
We the people of the United States...

Almost Lost Thanksgiving

Yes. That's right!

Way back when "skirts were long and hats were tall" Americans were forgetting Thanksgiving, and nobody seemed to care!

Thankfully, Sarah Hale appeared. More steadfast than Plymouth Rock, this lady editor knew the holiday needed saving. But would her recipe for rescue ever convince Congres

Paperback, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (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

To ask other readers questions about Thank You, Sarah, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Thank You, Sarah

'Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav PilkeyI Am the Turkey by Michele Sobel SpirnThe Know-Nothings Talk Turkey by Michele Sobel SpirnA Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve BuntingOne Is a Feast for Mouse by Judy Cox
Best Children's Thanksgiving Books
8th out of 135 books — 116 voters
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnellBalloons Over Broadway by Melissa SweetRedwoods by Jason ChinA Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts AstonAn Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston
Best non-fiction picture books
19th out of 361 books — 119 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,075)
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
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
Ashley Thorpe
Nov 24, 2014 Ashley Thorpe rated it liked it
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
Dec 04, 2013 Ruhama rated it it was amazing
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
Maggie Burgess
Jul 11, 2015 Maggie Burgess rated it it was amazing
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!
Nikki Glassley
Jan 15, 2016 Nikki Glassley rated it really liked it
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
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.
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
Jan 26, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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
Natalie VanDusen
Very interesting. I loved the author's tone and the way the story progressed. You could tell it was very well researched.
Nov 19, 2014 June rated it it was amazing
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.
Brittany Dalziel
Personal Reaction: I loved this book! The author did a great job at telling the story of Sarah Hale saving Thanksgiving as well as including a lot of other accomplishments of Sarah and even included past presidents and other historical events that were occuring in the 1800's, all in just a short book. The way that the author wrote this made it fun and interesting, and even included some funny parts that made the book fun to read. For example, one of the funny parts that were thrown into the book ...more
Nov 27, 2014 Leslie rated it really liked it
This year when you are saying grace on Thanksgiving you might want to include a thank you to Sarah Hale. Sarah was an amazing woman who lived when "skirts were long and hats were tall." At that time, Thanksgiving was only celebrated by some states and interest was waning. Sarah became the Thanksgiving superhero whose pen and perseverance were her super powers. She wrote thousands of letters and magazine articles. When that didn't work she wrote the president of the United States, who said no. Sa ...more
Aug 02, 2014 Shersta rated it really liked it
In the early years of our nation, Thanksgiving was not exactly the national holiday that it is today. But one woman thought that it should be. Sarah Hale was a strong, determined woman who worked hard. She wanted the slaves to be freed, girls to go to school, historical monuments built to honor important people, and healthier clothing for women. But Thank You, Sarah is mostly the story of the thirty-eight years Sarah Hale spent writing letters and articles and asking one president after another ...more
Alyssa Gergins
Apr 24, 2014 Alyssa Gergins rated it it was amazing
I would definitely read this book to my elementary class to not only teach them about thanksgiving but about perseverance and how anyone can make a difference. This animated and fun picture book gives a background story about Sarah Hale and her hard work to bring Thanksgiving back as a national holiday. She was one of the best writers and editors in America back in that time and wrote about everything that she didnt agree with. One of those things was thanksgiving. Her determination and passion ...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!
Kristi Maurer
Mar 26, 2014 Kristi Maurer rated it it was amazing
"Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving" by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Matt Faulkner is a book about determination and persistence. Sarah Hale spent thirty-eight years of her life writing letters to politicians, including five American presidents asking them to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Finally, in 1863, Abraham Lincoln came through, and we have celebrating the holiday ever since. Anyone who has ever wanted to give up should read about Sarah Hale. This book ...more
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.
Mary-Vaughan Spruill
Nov 23, 2015 Mary-Vaughan Spruill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
"Thank You, Sarah" tells the story of Sarah Hale, the woman who fought to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. This book shows that perseverance, hard work, and dedication can make dreams come true. Sarah Hale wrote thousands of letters and worked over 38 years to fight for what she wanted, Thanksgiving. "Thank You, Sarah" not only teaches hard work and dedication, but also shows the historical events that happened while Sarah Hale was trying to reach her goal.
This book is great for opening
Nov 01, 2013 Kendra rated it it was amazing
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!).
Jun 14, 2013 Jacqueline rated it liked it
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.
May 05, 2016 Jill rated it it was amazing
As I read this aloud to my 9 and 10-year-old there were several times we commented, "WHAT? No way." And "whoa."

Do you know Sarah Hale? Do you know the power of an average person who acts on issues they feel can be changed for the better of society? Sarah Hale's story is inspiring. She was a wife, a mother, an author, an editor and a campaigner for worthy causes including women's education.

Find this. Read this. Share it with the men, women, boys and girls in your life. Sarah Hale spent 38 years c
Alexandria Stephens
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving is written by the accomplished author Laurie Halse Anderson. This book is a non-fiction story of Sarah Hale. Who is Sarah Hale? Shockingly I thought the same thing prior to reading this book. Hale's persistent is the reasons why Thanksgiving is a national holiday. The book tells about her determination in writing letters to government officials, and even writing to presidents with request that Thanksgiving become a national holiday. This story c ...more
Traci Bold
Feb 23, 2016 Traci Bold rated it it was amazing
I have to admit, I had never heard of Sarah Hale before I read this #NF picture book written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Matt Faulkner.

Sarah wrote letter after letter to preserve Thanksgiving and make it a national holiday. She wrote to her congressmen and the presidents of the United States. Finally, one president agreed with her that it should be a National Holiday and he declared the last Thursday of November, Thanksgiving. This president was none other than President Abraham
Sam Gallagher
Jun 08, 2016 Sam Gallagher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Way back before Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday, people were stopping in their celebration of the day of thanks. However, one woman decided that it was about time to stand up for Turkey Day and so she wrote the president of the United States and asked him to declare it a holiday. However he refused, and so did the next president, and the next until finally the fourth president, Abraham Lincoln, said yes! Illustrated in India ink, colored inks, watercolor, and gouache, this book is a ...more
Nov 16, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
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.
Erin Whittle
Mar 31, 2016 Erin Whittle added it
Shelves: rdng-350
A very neat story, interesting history lesson for kids (and adults who, like me, are not up with their Sarah Hale lessons!) 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 empowered.) A few of the phrases seemed a bit too ...more
Sara Schwarzwalder
Apr 22, 2014 Sara Schwarzwalder rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this story and finding out the background to the Thanksgiving holiday. The book gave interesting details about Sarah Hale and her fight to make Thanksgiving a national holiday without sounded boring or repetitive. The pictures were phenomenal. The deeper, duller colors really fit well with the story and the two page spreads would make this book a great read aloud to 2nd through 4th grade classrooms. I like how this book showed the theme of never giving up and showed that ...more
Dec 27, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Loved this short, children's biography about Sarah Hale, who was successful after more than twenty years and 5 presidents, in the creation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. I had no idea President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, and that the persuasive argument Sarah Hale used was that thanksgiving would be an important reminder to all Americans of what we stand for in the midst of the most divisive war the United States has ever seen. Very short, detailed, informative, an ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 69 70 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
  • 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