Sarah, Plain and Tall - Patricia MacLachlan My mother is a retired librarian, and this was one of the books she recommended most frequently for young readers. Now many years into retirement, she still suggests it regularly. Anna and Caleb live on the prairie with their papa. Mama died from childbirth complications, and the house feels hollow now that Papa doesn't sing anymore. Sarah comes from Maine for a one-month trial period to see if she and Papa might want to marry. Sarah is plain and tall, which is probably why she hasn't yet found a husband. But she has the inner beauty and a lot of lovable qualities the prettier girls don't always offer. Sarah brings a quiet patience, a love of song, a joy in nature and all beauty, a sense of fun and mischief, and most important, adaptability. As the trial period progresses, Anna and Caleb fall ever more in love with Sarah. They watch anxiously for signs that she might not be planning to stay, rejoicing when she shows any little possibility of putting down roots. They're watching Papa, too, hoping he'll be as fond of Sarah as they are.This story is a model of perfect simplicity. Read it and you, too, might fall in love with Sarah. It's not often that a children's book will move me to tears, but this one did at the end.