Patricia MacLachlan's childhood was full of stories. From as far back as she can remember, her parents emphasized books as a source of joy. "We read them, discussed them, reread them, and acted out the parts. I can still feel the goose bumps as I, in the fur of Peter Rabbit, fled from the garden and Mr. McGregor - played with great ferocity by my father - to the coat closet."

Patricia attended the University of Connecticut, then married psychologist Robert MacLachlan and had three kids. Her family has always come before anything else. For a while she served on the board of a family agency, writing a series of journalistic pieces concerning adoption and foster mothers. She didn't become a writer of books until she was thirty-five and all her kids were in school.

Before her first title, The Sick Day, appeared in 1979, she was voraciously reading thirty to forty children's books per week. That first title appeared in 1977 and was followed by a number of other books in rapid succession--nearly one a year, in fact. Most of them involve families in one way or another. They also frequently include autobiographical elements, "Like Cassie (Cassie Binegar) I spent hours in hidden places listening to conversations I was not meant to hear."

In 1985, Harper & Row published what Booklist called "a near-perfect miniature novel." The New York Times said it was "the simplest of love stories expressed in the simplest of prose."  Patricia's Sarah, Plain and Tall, just fifty-six pages of lovely, lovely prose, is easy enough for seven-year-olds and has also earned a large and devoted audience among older readers and adults. In 1986 the book won the Newbery. The idea for the story (based on truth) sprouted from a trip that she, her husband, and her children took to the prairies where she had been born.

Patricia's writing is quiet, sincere, and funny, like the best bits of Laura Ingalls Wilder.


All the Places to Love

Arthur, For the Very First Time


Cassie Binegar

The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt

It's Fine to Be Nine


Letter Perfect: A Guide to Practical Proofreading

Mama One, Mama Two

Moon, Stars, Frogs, and Friends

Sarah, Plain and Tall

Seven Kisses in a Row

The Sick Day

Skylark (sequel to Sarah, Plain and Tall)

Three Names

Through Grandpa's Eyes

Tomorrow's Wizard

Unclaimed Treasures

What You Know First

(Untitled Sarah #3) Third in the Sarah series, this book was supposed to be published in August but isn't out yet. Bad HarperCollins!

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