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Sarah Gives Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday Hardcover – Aug 1 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (Sept. 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080757239X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807572399
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 22.2 x 27.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #268,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Sarah's foresight and determination come alive int his well-told tale." BookPage, November 14, 2012

From the Inside Flap

This story depicts how Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned to make Thanksgiving a holiday in the 1800s.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Great Book! Aug. 30 2012
By Dad of Divas - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Do you ever wonder how our national holiday called THANKSGIVING began? Well this true story describes the history of the holiday and the woman who endlessly fought for it to become the celebrated day it is today.

Sarah Josepha Hall was widowed young with five children and had to find a way to support them. She turned to writing and became a well known writer and editor. It took Sarah 36 years until she found a president, Abraham Lincoln, who issued the proclamation declaring a national day of thanksgiving.

Sarah was also instrumental in supporting and furthering the education of women in the 1800's. What courage and strength for a women to do that so long ago.

I feel our young women today need to learn about these brave women who were instrumental not only in focusing on the rights of women, but in the institutions of education, family, and tradition.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A pleasant surprise Sept. 13 2012
By Stacy - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book, because I met the author through the blogosphere. I read the book, because it's an interesting story. Mike Allegra weaves a lot of information into this picture book about Sarah Hale and her efforts to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. It also shares a story of how a single mom managed to support her family in a man's world -- a 19th century man's world. The historical facts are educational and presented in an entertaining manner. The illustrations by David Gardner are wonderful.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful and inspirational book! Sept. 16 2012
By Celeste - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We purchased this book for our son based on the recommendation of a family member, and found it to be an interesting and inspirational story. My recommendation would be for the author to write about more of our national holidays in future books, since it really helps children understand the true meaning of a holiday, as opposed to it being "just another day off from school".
An Appealing and Inspiring Story about Persistence and Courage Nov. 22 2014
By Shanna A. Gonzalez - Published on
Format: Hardcover
How did the American tradition of Thanksgiving come to be established? In the 1820s, 200 years after the Pilgrims' celebration, different states observed the holiday on different days, and most southern states didn't observe it at all. That was when Sarah Josepha Hale turned her considerable talent and persistence toward establishing a national holiday. She wrote about it in her magazine, Godey's Lady's Book, she wrote to governors and other leaders, and she wrote an annual letter to the President asking him to establish a day of giving thanks. She ended up writing to five Presidents: Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, and finally Lincoln. In the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln finally agreed with Mrs. Hale, and on October 3, 1863, Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

This excellent picture book tells us more about Sarah Hale, showing how this remarkable woman badgered her brother into passing on his college education to her during his breaks. She continued her independent education in the company of her beloved husband, who encouraged her to publish her writing. Then when he died, she gave thanks to God for having known him - and courageously worked to support her family. Being left alone with five children in a time when women didn't work outside the home was a desperate crisis. But through hard work and persistence she became a successful "editress," as she insisted on being called, and then went on to establish a tradition that has shaped our culture for 150 years.

This story stands out among juvenile biographies for its interest and accessibility. Appealingly and skillfully illustrated, it's visually appealing, and the pictures carry a large part of the story. The writing is smooth and evocative, and really highlights the humanity of the person in focus. It's an excellent read.
Informative and Inspiring Nov. 10 2012
By Jyotsna Sreenivasan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have included this book in my online Gender Equality Bookstore.

Until I read this book, I had no idea how important Sarah Josepha Hale was to our country. She helped make Thanksgiving a national holiday (it was considered more of a New England holiday in the early 1800s).

Although as a young woman Hale had been barred from college due to her gender, she had studied at home alongside her brother, using his college texts. After the death of her husband, she was able to support her five children from her income as a writer.

As the influential editor of magazines for women, she encouraged education and exercise for women. She frequently wrote about the importance of Thanksgiving as a way to promote gratitude. She sent letters to politicians and businesspeople, and encouraged her readers to do the same. Finally, after five presidents had refused to consider her request to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, President Lincoln proclaimed in 1863 that Thanksgiving would be held nationwide on the last Thursday in November.

Hale's story is told in simple, engaging language by Mike Allegra, and realistic, colorful pictures by David Gardner. The book also includes a biographical sketch for adults, as well as a list of resources for further reading. This book would be appropriate for elementary students above the age of seven or eight.