Recommended for Readers
in Grades 3 and up
1986 - Newbery Honor Book
Anna's mother died after her little brother, Caleb, was born. There aren't many people living on the prairie in the 1800s. Anna's Papa writes a letter to a newspaper to say he is looking for a new wife. Anna and Caleb are excited to read the letter they receive from Sarah, but worried, too. What will she be like? Will she like them? Will she want to stay?
This is a short book with simple but beautiful language. It is a good vehicle to introduce children to the fact that their lives and daily challenges are very different than those of people in other time periods. While the idea of writing to a stranger to find a spouse may be discomfiting to modern audiences, it seems very natural to Anna and Caleb. We are also able to see Sarah's adjustment to the move, and how much she misses Maine through Anna's eyes.
The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.
**Questions coming soon**
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