Longtime readers of this blog know that I am crazy about Sarah Josepha Hale.
Sarah was the first female magazine editor in America. She was also one of the greatest magazine editor’s in America, transforming the struggling Godey’s Lady’s Book into the most widely read magazine in 19th century America. She used this magazine as a bully pulpit to promote positive change: charitable giving, healthy living, patriotic causes, college educations for women, and—most famously—a nationalized Day of Thanksgiving.
She also wrote books—lots and lots of books—including Northwood, the first novel in the U.S. to condemn slavery (predating Uncle Tom’s Cabin by 25 years). She also wrote the most famous poem of all time: “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
And she did all of this while raising five kids as a widowed, single mother.
Seriously, just how awesome is that?
Sarah’s life and achievements dazzle me; that’s why I wrote my first picture book about her. Sarah Gives Thanks was published in 2012 by Albert Whitman and Company and it remains one of my happiest and proudest achievements.
Unfortunately, Sarah Gives Thanks is going out of print.
I recently received word from Albert Whitman that Sarah will not get another hardcover print run—and a softcover edition appears unlikely.
I know this is the way things go in publishing, but it breaks my heart a little. I loved writing about Sarah Hale and I love talking about her at schools, in bookstores, and on the radio. I wanted (and continue to want) to spread the awesomeness about this little known American hero.
So welcome to the “So Long, Sarah” Book Contest!
I’ve snapped up the last three copies of Sarah Gives Thanks from the publisher’s warehouse. Signed copies of these books will be given away to three blog readers!
These will be the last copies of Sarah Gives Thanks that I will ever sign, thus making these books rare and amazingly valuable.*
What’s that? You already have a copy of Sarah Gives Thanks? Enter anyway. Give the book to a friend, or a school, or a public library.
The key is to get Sarah’s story out there.
How To Win:
To enter this contest all you need to do is leave an Interesting Historical Fact in the comments section below. The fact can be about anyone or anything, provided that the fact is interesting.
(What’s that you say? You don’t know any interesting historical facts? That’s what the internet is for, people! Come on, show a little moxie!)
That’s all you need to do. Leave a comment with an Interesting Historical Fact and you’re name will be entered in the contest drawing.
How to Increase Your Chances of Winning:
Want me to stuff the ballot box in your favor? Fine. I’ll add two more ballots if you announce this contest on your blog and link back to this page.
Don’t have a blog? OK, then you can get one extra ballot if you announce this contest on your Facebook page or Twitter feed.
Want even more ballots? Fiiine. If you write to Albert Whitman and Company and politely urge them to publish a Sarah Gives Thanks paperback, I’ll give you an extra four ballots.
Other Relevant Details:
All Interesting Historical Facts must be received on or before Saturday, May 5.
I will post the winners on this blog on Monday, May 7.
Thank you all for keeping Sarah Josepha Hale’s memory alive.
AND GOOD LUCK!