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Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
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Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,556 ratings  ·  274 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)
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,556 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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"Never Underestimate Dainty little ladies!" So begins the tale of Sarah Hale, a real superhero.

She fought for playgrounds, kids, schools for girls, and historical monuments. She composed Mary had a Little Lamb - news to me. She was the first female Magazine Editor in America.

Thanksgiving was almost forgotten in this country and it's only because of her persistence and writing letters to 5 presidents that Thanksgiving became a holiday during the civil war. 4 presidents told her no. She felt havi
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
Mariah Roze
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was GREAT! And so educational. My students and myself learned a lot :)
Nikki Glassley
Nov 24, 2015 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
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ian
A fun little conversational history book. However, the author removed any hint of Christianity from the origins of Thanksgiving. I suspect the life of Sarah Hale received the same treatment. I'd like to learn more about her from another source because I'm guessing she's even cooler than Anderson gave her credit for.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: educ378-spring
Text-to-Teaching Connection

This book is written in a very engaging manner, the illustrations in it are really intriguing. Sarah Hale wrote a lot of letters trying to convince the Federal government that Thanksgiving should be a national holiday. She wrote President James Buchanan, but he had other things on his mind. The illustration of James Buchanan is really clever, it is a closeup view of his head with abolitionists on top on one side of his parted hairline, and secessionists on the other si
Meg McGregor
Nov 22, 2014 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
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
This is an excellent picture book. Using very little space, Laurie Halse Anderson paints a convincing picture of an important American woman who has been largely forgotten over time. I had never heard Sarah Hale's story, and found it to be a strong testimonial to the power of one person to alter the course of history and affect hearts and minds for an important cause. I'm impressed by the fresh telling of this story, and by the historical tidbits sprinkled throughout the text.
Kari Doering
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Sarah the woman who saved Thanksgiving is written by Laurie Halse Anderson and talks about the struggles she had to go through to save Thanksgiving. The book started out with a question" you think you know everything about thanksgiving don't you?" and how the Native Americans saved the Pilgrims from starving. As the starving pilgrims waited in line most of them had happy faces and the color of the picture is bright and clear how they felt. As the pilgrims were sitting down for their fe ...more
Nov 28, 2013 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
Feb 11, 2009 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
Ashley Thorpe
Nov 24, 2014 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
Jan 26, 2010 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
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
Marc Bisson
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book about Sarah Hale, the woman tho saved Thanksgiving. Throughout the book, the author provides details about how Sarah Hale was a persistent woman who worked hard for what she believed in. Her persistence for 35 years finally paid off when Abraham Lincoln believed that Thanksgiving should be a national holiday for everyone to celebrate.

My students thoroughly enjoyed this book and they were able to describe Sarah using rich adjectives and evidence to support their thinking
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
THANK YOU, SARAH is a delightful story with engaging illustrations about Sarah Hale, whose letter writing campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Sarah’s years long persistence spanned four presidents. Laurie Halse Anderson calls Sarah a superhero reminding readers heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Anderson has facts about Thanksgiving after Sarah’s story.

**THANK YOU, SARAH only worked on my iPad kindle app, it wasn’t formatted for my actual kindle.
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 Mattmiller
Jul 11, 2015 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!
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.
Oct 08, 2013 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!).
Laurie Brumbaugh
Nov 19, 2015 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.
Oct 31, 2014 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.
Jun 12, 2013 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.
Natalie VanDusen
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting. I loved the author's tone and the way the story progressed. You could tell it was very well researched.
Aug 31, 2010 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.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Muang
I love this book! it has my name and it was also thanksgiving
I love how she never gave up she kept trying and trying until
a president said they were going to make thanksgiving a Holiday.
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 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Matt Faulkner follows the life and work of Sarah Hale, particularly her quest to see Thanksgiving become an official national holiday.

Sarah Hale was a determined woman who fought for schools for girls, children's playgrounds, historical monuments and Thanksgiving. She argued against spanking, corsets, bloomers, bustles and slavery. She influenced people by writing letters and articles. She became the firs
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MCC Children's Li...: Thank You, Sarah - Challice 1 1 Apr 05, 2012 03:23AM  
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Ask box is open, my friends! What do you want to know?


The SPEAK graphic novel, illustrated by Emily Carroll, will be published on Feb 6, 2018!

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 York Times-bestselling author who wri
“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…