Thank You, Sarah

The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

Thank You, Sarah

Illustrated by: Matt Faulkner
For Ages: 5 - 8
  • 4
From the author of Speak and Fever, 1793, comes the never-before-told tale of Sarah Josepha Hale, the extraordinary "lady editor" who made Thanksgiving a national holiday!

Thanksgiving might have started with a jubilant feast on Plymouth's shore. But by the 1800s America's observance was waning. None of the presidents nor Congress sought to revive the holiday. And so one invincible "lady editor" name Sarah Hale took it upon herself to rewrite the recipe for Thanksgiving as we know it today. This is an inspirational, historical, all-out boisterous tale about perseverance and belief: In 1863 Hale's thirty-five years of petitioning and orations got Abraham Lincoln thinking. He signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation that very year, declaring it a national holiday. This story is a tribute to Hale, her fellow campaigners, and to the amendable government that affords citizens the power to make the world a better place!
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 40 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689851438 | 
  • October 2005 | 
  • Grades K - 3 | 
  • Lexile ® AD600L
List Price $7.99 (price may vary by retailer)
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Reading Group Guide

Thank You, Sarah


The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving


By Laurie Halse Anderson


Illustrated by Matt Faulkner


Sarah Hale, a determined widow, magazine editor and author, wanted Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. She launched a letter writing campaign to presidents which lasted thirty-eight years until she finally persuaded Abraham Lincoln to recognize the day.




Have readers discuss the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Then have them classify Thank You, Sarah, taking hints from the cover of the book.



  • Study the artwork on the cover of the book. What is the historical period?

  • Foreshadowing is a literary or art technique used to provide clues about something that might occur in the story later. Notice the quill and inkwell on the cover of the book, and the quill on the dedication page. Discuss what this foreshadows about Sarah. Find other examples of foreshadowing in the book. Hint: The bust on the pedestal on the fifth double-page spread.

  • Point out the first reference in the book to the way some famil
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About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson
photograph courtesy of the author

Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. Her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Chains and Speak, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also received the 2009 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and Laurie was chosen for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Pennsylvania, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @HalseAnderson, or visit her at