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Skylark

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My mother, Sarah, doesn't love the prairie. She tries, but she can't help remembering what she knew first. Sarah came to the prairie from Maine to marry Papa. But that summer, a drought turned the land dry and brown. Fires swept across the fields and coyotes came to the well in search of water. So Sarah took Anna and Caleb back east, where they would be safe. Papa stayed behin My mother, Sarah, doesn't love the prairie. She tries, but she can't help remembering what she knew first. Sarah came to the prairie from Maine to marry Papa. But that summer, a drought turned the land dry and brown. Fires swept across the fields and coyotes came to the well in search of water. So Sarah took Anna and Caleb back east, where they would be safe. Papa stayed behind. He would not leave his land. Maine was beautiful, but Anna missed home, and Papa. And as the weeks went by, she began to wonder what would happen if the rains never came. Would she and Caleb and Sarah and Papa ever be a family again?


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My mother, Sarah, doesn't love the prairie. She tries, but she can't help remembering what she knew first. Sarah came to the prairie from Maine to marry Papa. But that summer, a drought turned the land dry and brown. Fires swept across the fields and coyotes came to the well in search of water. So Sarah took Anna and Caleb back east, where they would be safe. Papa stayed behin My mother, Sarah, doesn't love the prairie. She tries, but she can't help remembering what she knew first. Sarah came to the prairie from Maine to marry Papa. But that summer, a drought turned the land dry and brown. Fires swept across the fields and coyotes came to the well in search of water. So Sarah took Anna and Caleb back east, where they would be safe. Papa stayed behind. He would not leave his land. Maine was beautiful, but Anna missed home, and Papa. And as the weeks went by, she began to wonder what would happen if the rains never came. Would she and Caleb and Sarah and Papa ever be a family again?

30 review for Skylark

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    A new life is not without its hardships. As Sarah recalls the greener landscapes of Maine, the drought teaches her that the dry and dusty Kansas prairies offer a bright future of their own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    This is a nice sequel to Sarah, Plain and Tall. I think this book brings out my own biases. I dream of living in the Northeast and Sarah is from Maine. There is a draught on the plains so fierce that everything is burning up and there is no water. Sarah takes the kids to Maine while Papa stays to care for the farm. See, I would have said, that's it, this is our reason to move to Maine. Sarah goes back to the plains. Simply not my part of the world. Patricia has nice characterization. The draught This is a nice sequel to Sarah, Plain and Tall. I think this book brings out my own biases. I dream of living in the Northeast and Sarah is from Maine. There is a draught on the plains so fierce that everything is burning up and there is no water. Sarah takes the kids to Maine while Papa stays to care for the farm. See, I would have said, that's it, this is our reason to move to Maine. Sarah goes back to the plains. Simply not my part of the world. Patricia has nice characterization. The draught storyline made good story telling and I'm sure it happened. A town can dry up. What would that be like to run out of water in your well or the river run dry. Scary!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Aranda

    4.25-4.5 stars If it’s even possible, I enjoyed this sequel more than the first book and that was a really nice book too. It made my heart pound living through this dry spell they loved through. There was nothing anyone could do during this time except live as best they can. Seeing the differences between Maine and Kansas was nice as the kids had never traveled or been apart from their father. It made me happy knowing that at this time “distance does make the heart grow fonder.” I had no idea tha 4.25-4.5 stars If it’s even possible, I enjoyed this sequel more than the first book and that was a really nice book too. It made my heart pound living through this dry spell they loved through. There was nothing anyone could do during this time except live as best they can. Seeing the differences between Maine and Kansas was nice as the kids had never traveled or been apart from their father. It made me happy knowing that at this time “distance does make the heart grow fonder.” I had no idea that there was a series about this family when I first started reading “Sarah, Plain and Tall,” but now that I know I am determined to read the entire series. I was nervous when I started “Skylark” since I had heard nothing about it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    We have a proverb in Spain that says, "Second parts are never as good." I'm afraid that is true in this case. I loved Sarah, Plain and Tall, but Skylark is a letdown. After the luminous homelike comfort of the first book, this was choppy, angry and bleah; less "after the honeymoon" and more "the morning after," hangover and all. Nobody's happy; even when the kids get to a cool green place they don't enjoy it much because they want to be back home, which they were dying to leave because of the dr We have a proverb in Spain that says, "Second parts are never as good." I'm afraid that is true in this case. I loved Sarah, Plain and Tall, but Skylark is a letdown. After the luminous homelike comfort of the first book, this was choppy, angry and bleah; less "after the honeymoon" and more "the morning after," hangover and all. Nobody's happy; even when the kids get to a cool green place they don't enjoy it much because they want to be back home, which they were dying to leave because of the drought. (Yes I know why. But it doesn't make for an enjoyable read.) The choppy style that jumped back and forth in time and place didn't help a bit. When I read about Papa advertising for a wife and Sarah wearing a bonnet in Sarah 1, I mentally placed the book much farther back in the past than it was. I was thinking, you know, 1880s or something. Suddenly wham! there are automobiles and--skinny dipping? By the maiden aunts? In Maine? oooookaaaay..... I know MacLachlan's output is uneven (see her take on the Boxcar Children---shudder!), but this was just...eh. If it hadn't been so short, I wouldn't have finished it at all. As it was, it left a sour taste in my mouth. I hope the next one is better or I'm outta here.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This book is the sequel to Sarah, Plain and Tall. In this follow-up story, the Witting family experiences a terrible drought, and Sarah is forced to take Anna and Caleb to visit her family in Maine until rain comes on the prairie again. Another understated, yet beautiful historical tale for children.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Margot Meanders

    I first came across the stories thanks to Hallmark. I enjoy the movies. they keep the poetic, lovely language that I love in the stories. I like Skylark as one of best parts because it is an important part for Sarah. To feel at home, feel where she belongs . I loved how the writer developed it. To me the whole series feels integral whole and that's why I enjoy it. I first came across the stories thanks to Hallmark. I enjoy the movies. they keep the poetic, lovely language that I love in the stories. I like Skylark as one of best parts because it is an important part for Sarah. To feel at home, feel where she belongs . I loved how the writer developed it. To me the whole series feels integral whole and that's why I enjoy it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    5 stars & 5/10 hearts. Oh, what a lovely sequel to ‘Sarah, Plain & Tall’! As before, it was poetical and beautiful and simple and timeless, and for all ages. There was one section where an older lady invites a young boy to come skinny-dipping with her, so that needs some editing & removes a star; but otherwise, it was just lovely. I really liked getting to know Sarah’s family! A Favourite Quote: “‘Yes, I loved your Papa’s letters,’ said Sarah softly. ‘I loved what was between the lines most.’ “‘W 5 stars & 5/10 hearts. Oh, what a lovely sequel to ‘Sarah, Plain & Tall’! As before, it was poetical and beautiful and simple and timeless, and for all ages. There was one section where an older lady invites a young boy to come skinny-dipping with her, so that needs some editing & removes a star; but otherwise, it was just lovely. I really liked getting to know Sarah’s family! A Favourite Quote: “‘Yes, I loved your Papa’s letters,’ said Sarah softly. ‘I loved what was between the lines most.’ “‘What was between the lines?’ Caleb asked…. “‘His life,’ [Sarah] said simply…. “‘Papa’s not always good with words,’ I said. “‘Sometimes, yes,’ said Sarah, laughing. ‘But when I read your Papa’s letters, I could see this farm, and the animals and the sky. And you. Sometimes, what people choose to write down on paper is more important than what they say.’”

  8. 4 out of 5

    debbicat *made of stardust*

    I love this series. I highly recommend it. The setting in Maine (for this book) is much preferable to me than the previous setting on the prairie. Beautifully described. I'd like to hang out with Sarah and her aunts some time. This is the sequel to Sarah Plain and Tall. We grow to see what a strong woman Sarah is in the first book. This one gives us her roots and enough background to see how she develops into that woman. Her love for these two children that are not her own is fierce. Some choice I love this series. I highly recommend it. The setting in Maine (for this book) is much preferable to me than the previous setting on the prairie. Beautifully described. I'd like to hang out with Sarah and her aunts some time. This is the sequel to Sarah Plain and Tall. We grow to see what a strong woman Sarah is in the first book. This one gives us her roots and enough background to see how she develops into that woman. Her love for these two children that are not her own is fierce. Some choices have to be made. And it's quite a story kids and adults can both enjoy,

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    I don't know why I had never read Patricia MacLachlan's Skylark until today. I have loved Sarah, Plain and Tall, for years. There is something amazing about MacLachlan's style. This book left me feeling like I could cry from the beauty of the story and the tender style of writing. I read it in about 45 minutes and enjoyed each word. I don't know why I had never read Patricia MacLachlan's Skylark until today. I have loved Sarah, Plain and Tall, for years. There is something amazing about MacLachlan's style. This book left me feeling like I could cry from the beauty of the story and the tender style of writing. I read it in about 45 minutes and enjoyed each word.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kellyn Roth

    I just didn't enjoy it at all. I found it boring and depressing. Sarah, Plain and Tall was a pretty good book ... but Skylark was a disappointment. Not worth the read. I just didn't enjoy it at all. I found it boring and depressing. Sarah, Plain and Tall was a pretty good book ... but Skylark was a disappointment. Not worth the read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mikayla

    After reading Sarah, Plain and Tall as a kid, I was really excited to figure out there was a second one. Living in Texas, I understand the desperate need for rain (Though not to the extent of them). I could understand the problem and the need of hope. And those kids were adorable!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Randy Tramp

    Sarah came to the prairie from Maine to marry Papa. That summer, a drought hit. So Sarah took Anna and Caleb back east, where they would be safe. Papa stayed behind. He would not leave his land. Maine was beautiful, but Anna missed home and Papa. And as the weeks went by, she began to wonder what would happen if the rains never came. Would she and Caleb and Sarah and Papa ever be a family again? Good read, making history come alive.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Linda Lipko

    The Sequel to Newbery award winning Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of the early pioneers who moved out west. Moving from Maine, Sarah becomes the mother and wife to a loving family. When severe draught hits, many leave because life is not sustainable. When things get exceedingly tough, Sarah and the two children temporarily move back to Maine. Embracing Sarah's family, but missing their father and the midwest, they long to return. When rain falls and grass begins to green, Sarah's husband The Sequel to Newbery award winning Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of the early pioneers who moved out west. Moving from Maine, Sarah becomes the mother and wife to a loving family. When severe draught hits, many leave because life is not sustainable. When things get exceedingly tough, Sarah and the two children temporarily move back to Maine. Embracing Sarah's family, but missing their father and the midwest, they long to return. When rain falls and grass begins to green, Sarah's husband makes the long journey to Maine to reclaim his family. While not one of her best, this is a touching story and holds the magic of MacLachlan's wonderful ability to paint clear, sharp images surrounded by a glow of a heartwarming story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

    October 30, 2012: I love rereading these books with Hallie. She has really enjoyed them. May 29, 2010: I have always love this series, ever since Miss Bleazard read it to us in third grade. It's a great and very quick read. You can read the book faster than you can watch the movie. I don't know what it is about these books but I love them. They remind me of being young and make me feel at home. October 30, 2012: I love rereading these books with Hallie. She has really enjoyed them. May 29, 2010: I have always love this series, ever since Miss Bleazard read it to us in third grade. It's a great and very quick read. You can read the book faster than you can watch the movie. I don't know what it is about these books but I love them. They remind me of being young and make me feel at home.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

    This is the follow-up to Sarah, Plain and Tall. Sarah misses Maine, with the sea and the greenery. But now that she is married to Papa, she must write her name in the prairie soil and make it her home.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Els

    I love children's books and no one can make me stop. I love children's books and no one can make me stop.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Liz F.

    A sweet book with a happy ending! I'm enjoying this little series. :) A sweet book with a happy ending! I'm enjoying this little series. :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    A great novel that introduces so many ideas about life and disappointment and love and fear and hope in a gentle way. Some of the depth may have gone over my kids’ heads, but they understood the heart of this lovely story. We also learned a lot about droughts and prairie life and the importance of water. This book sent us down a rabbit trail of learning about the Dust Bowl (even though this book doesn’t take place during that time period).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amrita

    There was hardship and struggle in this. But if I could love the family in their happy times, I could not stop loving them in trying ones, could I?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Merri Platt

    This is the sequel novel to Sarah, Plain and Tall. Just like in Sarah, Plain and Tall most of the action is told by Anna the daughter of Jacob and the step-daughter of Sarah Witting. The prairie has been good to the Wittings except for this summer. The prairie is going through a very dry spell. Because of this, many of the Witting's friends are having to move because there isn't enough water for them and for their animals. The Wittings are doing pretty good but the heat is starting to get to Sar This is the sequel novel to Sarah, Plain and Tall. Just like in Sarah, Plain and Tall most of the action is told by Anna the daughter of Jacob and the step-daughter of Sarah Witting. The prairie has been good to the Wittings except for this summer. The prairie is going through a very dry spell. Because of this, many of the Witting's friends are having to move because there isn't enough water for them and for their animals. The Wittings are doing pretty good but the heat is starting to get to Sarah who is not from the prairie. She grew up by the sea so the heat and drought is very hard on her. She has kind of a melt down when she sees that coyotes are coming up the house to look for water. To lighten her mood and to celebrate her birthday, Jacob decides to have a birthday party for Sarah which does lighten her mood. One of her presents is a record player which Sarah loves because Jacob then dances with her. After the birthday, Jacob decides it is time to send his wife and children to Sarah's hometown for the rest of the summer and drought. Anna, Jacob and Sarah go to Maine where they see the sea and water. Anna and Jacob come to love Sarah's three Aunts and all their friends. Sarah is happy to see her family but she is really missing Jacob and so are the children because Maine isn't their home. After awhile, Sarah realizes that she doesn't love the sea like she used to because Jacob is not there. Jacob finally surprises Sarah and his children by coming to Maine himself to let them know the drought is over. It has finally rained. Sarah also has a surprised for Jacob. She is having his child. The Wittings return to the prairie and Sarah writes her name in the prairie dirt. This is a great book to read because Patricia MacLachlan really makes the characters come alive. You get to know even more about the Witting family but you also get to meet Sarah's family and what they are like and how she was raised. Patricia writes so that it is interesting and you really get attached to each character and celebrate their happy moments with them. The writing is also big type so that it is a great book for first time chapter readers to read and enjoy. I also love that it is a historical novel so you get to see what that time period was like and the struggles that they had and overcame. I also liked that you get to see beloved characters again and how they have grown and become a real family. I also like that at the end of the book, the drought is over and Sarah finally has her dreams come true. She is going to have a child with Jacob. She still loves Anna and Jacob but she wants to add more children to their family to love.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I was surprised at how comparatively intense this one was after the first, but it does a great job showing in such a short book what it was like living in a draught and the difficult choices it forced on everyone. Really enjoyed the narrator too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    As a (former) homeschooling mother, I remember seeing "Sarah, Plain and Tall" on many, many book lists. I never took the time to read it myself, nor read it to my children. So I finally decided to read it, and I discovered that it is a trilogy. I've been surprised. These books are short, simplistic, predictable, and the characters lack any real depth. Sometimes you want to know more about what the adults are doing and thinking, but then you realize: you can't, because the story is told from the p As a (former) homeschooling mother, I remember seeing "Sarah, Plain and Tall" on many, many book lists. I never took the time to read it myself, nor read it to my children. So I finally decided to read it, and I discovered that it is a trilogy. I've been surprised. These books are short, simplistic, predictable, and the characters lack any real depth. Sometimes you want to know more about what the adults are doing and thinking, but then you realize: you can't, because the story is told from the perspective of the children whose point of view is clouded by a fear of abandonment. These kids are always thinking about the worst case scenario, but their fears never materialize and everything is fine. I think what is good about them is their poetic quality. There is an emotional style of expression that results in a lot of "reading between the lines." Somehow, the author says a lot despite writing little as the characters deal with big emotions: fear, paranoia, resentment. I do like the little stories for what they are, but they are not at all what I expected.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amelia Strydom

    Like the first book in this series, Skylark is multi-layered (like onions, or ogres, for the Shrek fans). Kids of different ages will unpeel the outer layers, but even adults will enjoy it. It is a fascinating look at pioneer life on the American prairies, and, IMHO opinion, as beautiful as the Little House series. I loved the characters, even the secondary ones were well-drawn. I also marvelled at Machlachlan's way of saying so much with few words. The simplicity makes the story even more strik Like the first book in this series, Skylark is multi-layered (like onions, or ogres, for the Shrek fans). Kids of different ages will unpeel the outer layers, but even adults will enjoy it. It is a fascinating look at pioneer life on the American prairies, and, IMHO opinion, as beautiful as the Little House series. I loved the characters, even the secondary ones were well-drawn. I also marvelled at Machlachlan's way of saying so much with few words. The simplicity makes the story even more striking. The love story between the adults (and eventually between Sarah and the land her husband loves so, even when drought strikes) is touching. The series is based on a true story. Highly recommended for kids and romance readers of all ages.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Not as good as the first book in the series, Sarah, Plain and Tall. The family has just come together after Sarah has come from Maine to marry father and now they are facing a draught. They continue to worry about the farm and worry they will have to move. I guess the plotline is boring to me, as an adult. Even my daughter, who was reading this with me thought the first book in the series was better and more exciting. She also thought that the constant focus on rain got boring. 3 stars. Not as good as the first book in the series, Sarah, Plain and Tall. The family has just come together after Sarah has come from Maine to marry father and now they are facing a draught. They continue to worry about the farm and worry they will have to move. I guess the plotline is boring to me, as an adult. Even my daughter, who was reading this with me thought the first book in the series was better and more exciting. She also thought that the constant focus on rain got boring. 3 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ouida Robinson

    Author: Patricia MacLachlin Title: Skylark Plot: Sarah raises her stepchildren Anna and Caleb at their home in Kansas. They become a family. They visit Maine which was Sarah's home. They return to Kansas which is their home. Setting: Kansas and Maine Characters: Sarah, Papa, Anna and Caleb Point of view: First Person Theme: Change; Pioneer Life; New Experiences Style: Classics; Historical Fiction; Chapter Book Copyright: 1987 Notes: This book is a classic. I enjoyed reading it and I would like to read o Author: Patricia MacLachlin Title: Skylark Plot: Sarah raises her stepchildren Anna and Caleb at their home in Kansas. They become a family. They visit Maine which was Sarah's home. They return to Kansas which is their home. Setting: Kansas and Maine Characters: Sarah, Papa, Anna and Caleb Point of view: First Person Theme: Change; Pioneer Life; New Experiences Style: Classics; Historical Fiction; Chapter Book Copyright: 1987 Notes: This book is a classic. I enjoyed reading it and I would like to read other books about the family.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Bray

    This book was quite good. But I enjoyed the first book in the series much more. I remember having my sixth grade teacher reading Sarah Plain And Tall to us and always wanting to know what will happen next. I actually had no idea that this was a series so when I found out I was thrilled. I liked this story and the plot but I just felt that it was not as good as the first book and I think that the book had too much descriptive scenery that not only repetitive but was already depicted in the first This book was quite good. But I enjoyed the first book in the series much more. I remember having my sixth grade teacher reading Sarah Plain And Tall to us and always wanting to know what will happen next. I actually had no idea that this was a series so when I found out I was thrilled. I liked this story and the plot but I just felt that it was not as good as the first book and I think that the book had too much descriptive scenery that not only repetitive but was already depicted in the first book. I am excited to see where the next book will take the characters and how the plot will continue to develop.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Anyone who liked the Little House books will like these stories. The characters 'feel' like real people, and kids can imagine what life 'in the old days' entailed. Be ready to assure them that men really did put ads in the paper for a wife (isn't that similar to the on-line dating services?), and that the kids really did have things to do all day even without television, computers, phones, stores, or near-by neighbors. Anyone who liked the Little House books will like these stories. The characters 'feel' like real people, and kids can imagine what life 'in the old days' entailed. Be ready to assure them that men really did put ads in the paper for a wife (isn't that similar to the on-line dating services?), and that the kids really did have things to do all day even without television, computers, phones, stores, or near-by neighbors.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Skylark was an amazing story!! I didn't like it when Maggie and Matthew left because of the drought! When Sarah,Caleb,and Anna left to go to Maine to see Sarah's aunts I was shocked!! They left Papa all alone! I loved it when Caleb would read out of his journal! And Patricia mclachlan is such a good writer! Maybe you should read some more of her books! Skylark was an amazing story!! I didn't like it when Maggie and Matthew left because of the drought! When Sarah,Caleb,and Anna left to go to Maine to see Sarah's aunts I was shocked!! They left Papa all alone! I loved it when Caleb would read out of his journal! And Patricia mclachlan is such a good writer! Maybe you should read some more of her books!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joey Oborne

    I liked the book Skylark. The book was about Sarah and the family at there home they had a fire and they had to move to where Sarah lived as a kid where the grandparents live now and Papa had to stay and build and new house. The family were sending letters back and farth with each other and one day Papa came home to main and then they moved back in there house again.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Ricker

    Still cute, but not nearly as endearing or as touching as the first book. It's hard to pin down why, but I think maybe the fragility of the relationships with Sarah in the first story were a large part of its charm. Skylark tries to incorporate the same feeling, but I didn't buy it in this situation. Still cute, but not nearly as endearing or as touching as the first book. It's hard to pin down why, but I think maybe the fragility of the relationships with Sarah in the first story were a large part of its charm. Skylark tries to incorporate the same feeling, but I didn't buy it in this situation.

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