Caleb's Story (Sarah, Plain and Tall, 3)

by Patricia MacLachlan

Paperback, 2001


Check shelf

Call number



HarperCollins (2004), Edition: Reprint, 160 pages


Sequel to: Skylark. The stranger lurking on the Witting family's prairie farm turns out to be their long-lost grandfather, whose presence plus prodding from Sarah forces Jacob to deal with his past.

Local notes


User reviews

LibraryThing member ctpress
The third book in the Sarah, Plain and Tall-series.

I just love this series of books that resembles The Little House on the Prairie and also is told from the children’s perspective. The first two books from Anne’s perspective - she’s a teenager now and leave the family to study and work in
Show More
the city - and hands over the diary to her brother Caleb.

Anna has done something terrible.
She has given me a journal to fill.
"It's your job now," Anna says.

This time the crisis in the family is not drought - well another form of drought - a deep seated conflict between Caleb’s father and grandfather - it’s exposed when the grandfather comes to visit them after years of silence and absence.

Patricia Maclachlan again writes in sparse, poetical language with wonderful wisdom - again the mother Sarah is the cornerstone in the family and tries to hold everything together.

Caleb: “… I want most of all for you to forgive Grandfather. I want you to forgive Grandfather so I can grow up and be just like you.”

Another fine reading by Glenn Close who also stars as Sarah in the movie-adaptations.
Show Less
LibraryThing member AmberTheHuman
Moar sequels! Maybe it's because I'm an adult, but it was obvious to me that Caleb's grandfather couldn't read. So the big build up to the reveal was annoying - but it is a children's book. Anywho, rounds out the story nicely.
LibraryThing member shsunon
Anna has given me an arduous task. I,Caleb, must continue writing the story of our family life. I don't like journal writing and have no talent for words. We work on a farm, we go to school. Besides nothing happens here or so I thought. Cassie and I find a strange man living in our barn.This
Show More
man,John, (our long-lost grandfather) joins our family. My journal writing comes to life!

"The wind howls outside, the snow and sleet hitting the windows like stones there. Inside it is peaceful. But John doesn't look peaceful at all. He looks like he has secrets. I will find out what they are."
Show Less
LibraryThing member EmScape
The narrator in this series changes from Anna to Caleb in this volume. The family is growing older and closer and larger. Sarah has had a baby, Cassie, and another member of the family has arrived from the past, Jacob's father. The two men have some relationship issues to work through before they
Show More
can become one big happy family.
A simple book for young readers. A nice introduction to life on the prairie.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Kate_Schulte078
This would be a good book to use when talking about the home front of world war i. I thinks students will like this book because it will give them a new perspective that they probably haven't heard before.
LibraryThing member bell7
Anna is going into town and leaves her journals with Caleb, encouraging him to continue writing their family story. Caleb doesn't think he'll have much to write about, but then his little sister Cassie discovers a man behind their barn - their grandfather, their father Jacob's father who left him
Show More
behind many years ago.

MacLachlan's spare style continues the story of the Witting family, now telling it through Caleb's eyes as he deals with Anna leaving and his grandfather appearing, and hopes for reconciliation between his father and grandfather. It's also given a definite time frame: just at the end of World War 1 during the influenza pandemic, a detail I had forgotten. Perhaps as an adult the ending is just a little too perfect, but it's a warm story about family and forgiveness.
Show Less
LibraryThing member NadineC.Keels
Way back when I first read (and loved!) the first two historical fiction books about the Witting family—beginning with the acclaimed Sarah, Plain and Tall—this third book didn't exist. So I'm finally taking the opportunity to continue the series.

In keeping with those before it, although this
Show More
story told from young Caleb's point of view is a children's book, it isn't just a simplistic little kiddie tale. And in a way, it's more Caleb's father's and grandfather's story than it is Caleb's. It's serious and understated in its illustration of a critical family rift and what it takes to repair it.

It was interesting seeing how the author ties this tale to the previous two with gentle reminders from the family's past. I certainly plan on continuing with the next book.
Show Less


Nebraska Golden Sower Award (Nominee — 2004)
Triple Crown Awards (Nominee — 2004)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades 3-5 — 2004)


Original language


Physical description

160 p.; 7.5 inches


0064405907 / 9780064405904


Page: 0.2292 seconds