Patricia MacLachlan

patricia maclachlan

Born March 3, 1938                  Passed away  March 31, 2022

Author Biography:

American writer Patricia MacLachlan was the author of several critically acclaimed children’s picture books and novels for preadolescents. She was probably best known for the book Sarah, Plain and Tall, which won the 1986 Newbery Medal.

MacLachlan was born Patricia Pritzkau on March 3, 1938, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 1962, she married Robert MacLachlan and began working as a junior high school English teacher. Her first published book, The Sick Day, came out in 1979. Through Grandpa’s Eyes and Moon, Stars, Frogs, and Friends followed in 1980.

MacLachlan’s fiction tends to be realistic, with a notable exception being the fantasy book Tomorrow’s Wizard (1982). Plots often revolve around children and their relationships with members of their immediate and extended families. Arthur, for the Very First Time, which the Society of Children’s Book Writers honored with a Golden Kite award in 1980, focuses on a boy spending the summer with his great-aunt and great-uncle while his mother is pregnant. In Cassie Binegar (1982), the main character laments her family’s unconventional behavior, while the protagonist of Unclaimed Treasures (1984) struggles with the conventionality of her own family. Mama One, Mama Two (1982), the story of a young girl placed in foster care, was inspired by the author’s extensive involvement with a family service agency.

Sarah, Plain and Tall (1985) was recognized by The New York TimesSchool Library Journal, and others as one of the best children’s books of the year. The novel tells the story of a pioneer man with two children who places an ad for a wife. A woman from Maine comes to their prairie home, but the children fear she may leave them to return to the East. MacLachlan later expanded the novel into a screenplay for a 1991 made-for-television movie starring actress Glenn Close. A sequel, Skylark, was published in 1990 and made into a television movie in 1993. Three more books follow the story of the Witting family: Caleb’s Story (2001; a television movie, Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter’s End, was based on the book and appeared in 1999, before the book was published), More Perfect Than the Moon (2004), and Grandfather’s Dance (2006).-----To see more of this article visit: Kids Britannica


Author obituary:

Books by Patricia MacLachlan


Sarah Plain and Tall


Caleb's Story

Dream Within a Dream

Edward's Eyes

Fly Away

Kindred Souls


More Perfect Than the Moon

My Father's Words

My Life Begins

Poet's Dog Seven Kisses In A Row


The True Gift

The Truth of Me

Waiting for the Magic

When Grandfather Flew

White Fur Flying

Wondrous Rex

Word After Word After Word

Picture Books

All the Places to Love


Barkus Dog Dreams Before You Came

Cat Talk

Chicken Talk Fiona Loves the Night

The Hundred-Year Barn

I Didn't Do It

Lala Salama A Tanzanian Lullaby

Little Robot Alone

Mama One Mama Two

My Friend Earth

My Poet

Once I Ate a Pie

Painting the Wind

Prairie Days The Sick Day

Snow Horses

Snowflakes Fall

Someone Like Me

Through Grandpa's Eyes

Three Names

What You Know First

Who Loves Me

Your Moon My Moon  A Grandmother's Words to a Faraway Child