Nov 11, 2012

Never Too Soon To GIve Thanks!

This title is featured in advance of the holiday to allow you to locate it to share during holiday visits.

With the election over, I doubt I'm alone in giving thanks for an end to campaign advertising.

I'm also hopeful that we Americans, as citizens and through our leaders, will find a way to communicate and collaborate in respectful, open-minded ways in the four years ahead and beyond.

Perhaps we'll be inspired by the newly-released movie, LINCOLN, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field. Interviews and reviews indicate the focus of this production is on a very narrow window of time in which Lincoln faced a deeply divided country, navigating pressures and hostility on all sides to make decisions that changed our nation forever.

In the midst of the many challenges he faced, he never lost sight of the needs of individuals.

Albert Whitman & Co. 2012
One book that reveals his awareness of the need for healing among the people is SARAH GIVES THANKS, by Mike Allegra, illustrated by David Gardner.
This biography of Sara Josepha Hale extends far beyond acknowledging her role as the driving force behind the establishment of Thanksgiving as an annual national holiday. Widowed, with five children, Sarah still chose to give thanks for her family and the love they shared. She managed to support her family by writing for magazines, rising to responsibility and success as an "editress".

At the time, Thanksgiving was not a national holiday, but was honored by various states on various dates. 
Beginning in 1849, she undertook her own campaign to persuade Presidents Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan of the importance of declaring Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Despite her persistence, her national audience, and her eloquent arguments, she was ignored year after year. 

It was Lincoln, immersed in the pain of the Civil War, who saw the value in pausing to recognize blessings and give thanks, even in the hardest of times. After Sarah's thirty-six years of effort, Lincoln declared a National Day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated by all the states on the last Thursday of November. 

Sarah's lifelong effort to learn, to write, to reach her full potential and support other women in overcoming gender limitations is inspiring and should be shared well beyond this annual holiday or a "Women's History" month. With the topic of Thanksgiving, this is an ideal book to share early in the year and refer to often. It includes excellent author notes and  back matter, too.

So whether your vote is for pumpkin pie or pecan, let's hope we can set aside differences   long enough to count our blessings, wish each other well, and share some great books.


  1. SARAH GIVES THANKS is a inspiring choice to share with children post election, pre-holiday, and also during women's history month! Well-researched and thought-provoking, this biography moves along at a pleasing pace and is brought to life with handsome illustrations. My family really enjoyed this book!

    - Cathy

    1. Hi, Cathy!
      Great to read your endorsement. I hope lots of folks check this one out and share it with kids of all ages, since it offers something for everyone. I SO admire courage and persistence, since they seem to be in short supply these days. Sarah's story both informs and inspires.

  2. Thanks so much for your kind review, Sandy. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed Sarah Gives Thanks!

  3. Such a wonderful review, Sandy! Thank you for your support, and -- I'll echo Mike -- so glad you liked "Sarah Gives Thanks"!

    1. Mike and David, What a treat to have you both stop by and comment. Here's hoping Sarah finds her way into many grateful hands during the holidays and long after. She deserves a fan club!


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