Sarah Had a Little Plan

by Jennifer Tousey

Genres: Children & Young Adult, Illustrated Books

ISBN: 9781649601148

36 pages

Price: $15.99

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Inspired by her father, who fought in the American Revolution, and desiring a better world for her children, Sarah Josepha Hale sought to leave behind a legacy of what it means to be an American, a woman, and an all-around good person. She opposed slavery, advocated for education for girls, became the first female magazine editor, and was a pioneer for women today.

Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned for nearly forty years to have the nation come together, set aside differences, and collectively celebrate one day to give thanks. With the help of Abraham Lincoln, that dream became a reality, and each November, we now have the national holiday known as Thanksgiving.

Told in the canter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” which was written by Sarah Josepha Hale, Sarah Had a Little Plan is the story of how a single mother of five in the Civil War era championed a message of unity and peace.


This delightful book is a winner for children in many ways. It is written in a rhyming manner which helps children learn to read and increase their vocabulary. It is historical­—as an adult, this book taught me something new! A true story of never giving up on ideas —believe in yourself.
Holly Stover
Mother, Veteran, and School Board Member

Far more than the simple rhyming storybook it first appears, Sarah Had a Little Plan is a full lesson about why we celebrate Thanksgiving that most Americans can learn something from. What a great tool to teach where the holiday began without repeating the myths that have been placed upon the original story since. The lesson part of the book is as engaging as the story.
Daniel Shippey
Educator, Historical Interpreter of George Washington at Mount Vernon

Sarah had a Little Plan is a delightful, poetic book that explores the origins of Thanksgiving through poetry and illustrations. For young readers, it brings history alive and makes a traditional American holiday have more meaning. Historical references to presidents, the American Revolution, and the Civil War provide talking points between our youngest readers and their family members. A short biography of Sarah and her letter to Abraham Lincoln provides the authenticity of the story of Sarah. I highly recommend this book for its easy reading for our youngest readers and its historical references.
Billie J. Spence
Mom, Grandma, and Retired Teacher

Jen captures the joy, faith, and determination of Sarah Josepha Hale in delightful prose for children. Sarah Had a Little Plan flows with history and beauty. I look forward to using it to introduce children to Sarah’s vital contribution to Thanksgiving tradition in America.
Rebekka Parry
Author of Hobomok and Thanksgiving and Giles’ Hopkins First Year at Plymouth


Award-winning producer and forever educator, Jen found her happy place writing about things she loves: education, history, patriotic heroes, and turkey! When Jen isn't researching or writing, she can be found touring a historical location with her family, cruising around a historical reenactment in full dress, or recreating some ancient forgotten recipe with her daughter