Skylark (Sarah, Plain and Tall Series #2)by Patricia MacLachlan
When Sarah came to the prairie, Anna and her brother Caleb worried that she would not stay and be their new mother. But Sarah fell in love with Caleb and Anna, and with their father, Jacob. Together they became a family. Jacob is a man of the land but for Sarah, the prairie isn't yet her home. So when a drought threatens to devastate their way of life, Jacob
When Sarah came to the prairie, Anna and her brother Caleb worried that she would not stay and be their new mother. But Sarah fell in love with Caleb and Anna, and with their father, Jacob. Together they became a family. Jacob is a man of the land but for Sarah, the prairie isn't yet her home. So when a drought threatens to devastate their way of life, Jacob must save the farm. But the children go back to the home Sarah knew first, Maine, where there is family and an ocean. But will they ever be a family again on the prairie?
Read an Excerpt
"Stand on that stump, Caleb. Anna, you next to him. That will be a good family picture."
Joshua, the photographer, looked through his big camera at us as we stood on the porch squinting in the sunlight. Caleb wore a white shirt, his hair combed slick to his head, Sarah in a white dress, Papa looking hot and uneasy in his suit. The lace at my neck itched in the summer heat. We had to be still for so long that Caleb began to whistle softly, making Sarah smile.
Far off in the distance the dogs, Nick and Lottie, walked slowly through the dry prairie grass. They walked past the cow pond nearly empty of water, past the wagon, past the chickens in the yard. Nick saw us first, then Lottie, and they began to run. Caleb looked sideways at me as they jumped the fence and ran to us, running up to stand between Sarah and Papa as if they wanted to be in the picture, too. We tried not to laugh, but Sarah couldn't help it. She looked up at Papa and he smiled down at her. And Joshua took the picture of us all laughing, Papa smiling at Sarah.
Joshua laughed, too.
"Your aunts will like that picture," he said to Sarah.
Sarah fanned herself.
"They hardly know what I look like anymore," she said softly. "I hardly know what they look like anymore."
I looked at Caleb. I knew Caleb didn't like to think about Sarah and her aunts and her brother and the sea she had left behind.
"It's Maine you came from, isn't it?" said Joshua.
"Yes," said Sarah.
"She lives here now," said Caleb loudly.
Papa put his hand on Caleb's head.
"That she does," said Joshua, smiling.
He turned and looked out over the cornfield, the plants so dry they rattled inthe wind.
"But I bet Maine is green," Joshua said in a low voice. He, looked out over the land with a faraway took, as if he were somewhere else. "We sure could use rain. I remember a long time ago, you remember it, Jacob. The water dried up, the fields so dry that the leaves fell like dust. And then the winds came. My grandfather packed up his family and left."
"Did he come back?'' asked Caleb.
"No," he said, "he never came back."
Joshua packed up the last of his things and got up in his wagon.
Papa looked at Sarah.
"It will rain," he said.
We watched the wagon go off down the road.
"It will rain," Papa repeated softly.
"Will you worry if it doesn't rain?" asked Caleb.
"Yes, but we'll get along," said Papa. "We always get along."
"Imagine having to leave," said Sarah.
Papa took off his jacket.
"We'd never leave, Sarah," he said. "We were born here. Our names are written in this land."
When Papa and Sarah went inside, Caleb looked at me. I knew what he was going to say, and I didn't want to hear it.
"Sarah wasn't born here," he said.
I picked up the pail of grain for the chickens.
"I know that, Caleb," I said crossly. "Papa knows it, too."
Caleb took a stick and bent down in the dirt. I watched him write SARA. He looked up at me.
"I'm writing Sarah's name in the land," he said.
"You can't even spell, Caleb," I said. "You can't."
I walked away. When I turned to look at Caleb, he was staring at me. I wanted to say I was sorry for being cross with him. But I didn't.
"Happily ever after," said Caleb when Papa married Sarah. "Now we'll live happily ever after. That's what the stories say."
Caleb said that all through the summer and the fall when the prairie grasses turned yellow,and through the first winter Sarab and Papa were married. He said it all winter long, when the wind blew around the corners of the house and ice sat slick on the windows. He said it when he fell tbrougb the ice on the slough and had to sit in a tub of warm water, his teeth chattering.
"I like the sound of it," Caleb told me. "Happily ever after."
Meet the Author
Patricia MacLachlan is the celebrated author of many timeless books for young readers, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal. Her novels for young readers include Arthur, For the Very First Time; The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt; Skylark; Caleb’s Story; More Perfect than the Moon; Grandfather’s Dance; Word After Word After Word; Kindred Souls; and The Truth of Me; she is also the author of many beloved picture books, many of which she cowrote with her daughter, Emily. She lives with her husband and two border terriers in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.
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