Book Review - Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Illustrator: Matt Faulkner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 27, 2005)
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 10 years
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Description from GoodReads:
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 Congress and the presidents?
Join acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson on a journey of a woman and a pen that spanned four decades, the Civil War, and five presidents, all so you could have your turkey and eat it too!

 Thanks to @mrschureads on Twitter I have a new favorite Thanksgiving Picture Book - THANK YOU, SARAH: THE WOMAN WHO SAVED THANKSGIVING.  This non-fiction picture book tells the story of Sarah Hale.  A woman who was well ahead of her times.  Hale, a mother of five, had a well established career as an advocate, writer, and editor.  She even wrote "Mary Had A Little Lamb".  However, when she discovered that people were not observing Thanksgiving regularly and it was potentially going to be lost as a holiday, Hale began a 38 year letter writing campaign to convince the President to declare it a National Holiday on a set date.  It wasn't until 1863 and Abraham Lincoln that Hale finally met with success. 

Laurie Halse Anderson, though more well-known for her Middle Grade and Young Adult books (SPEAK, CHAINS, FEVER, FORGE, and more), tackles the re-telling of Hale's journey to rescue Thanksgiving in a delightful and humorous manner.  With a bit of irreverency in both text and illustrations, Halse Anderson brings alive Hale's perseverance and tenacity while Faulkner does an excellent job making the text pop with caricature style drawings.  At the end of the story, Halse Anderson challenges readers to "Pick up your pen. Change the world." And Hale certainly did that with her pen.

When I recently read the book aloud to a group of third graders, they were fascinated with the story.  Children wanted to spend time looking at the illustrations which definitely match the tone and intent of Halse Anderson's writing.  This is one book that I am going to need to keep several copies of so that I will always have one to loan out.

So what is your favorite Thanksgiving picture book or chapter book?