"Sarah, Plain & Tall" - 1986
"Skylark" - 1997
"Caleb's Story" - 2001
"More Perfect Than the Moon" - 2004
Patricia MacLachlan has written a nice story about a family during the late 19th century. They have to deal with all the troubles that come along living in the US prairie at the time. After Anna's mother dies in childbirth, she and her brother Caleb grow up with their father in Kansas. He writes for a mail-order bride and Sarah from Maine answers it. She comes to stay with them - for a trial period.
I liked all four of those books and I think they are nice reads, supposed to be for any children aged 8-10 but I think they are especially suited for little girls.
The story has also been turned into some nice movies, starring Glenn Close and Christopher Walken, a very good cast.
From the back covers:
"Their mother died the day after Caleb was born. Their house on the prairie is quiet now, and Papa doesn't sing anymore. Then Papa puts an ad in the paper, asking for a wife, and he receives a letter from one Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton, of Maine. Papa, Anna, and Caleb write back. Caleb asks if she sings. Sarah decides to come for a month. She writes Papa: I will come by train. I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall, and Tell them I sing. Anna and Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she like them? Will she stay?"
(Sarah Plain & Tall)
"This tale of a family trying to survive on their farm in the mid-west charts the lives of Anna, Caleb, Papa and their new stepmother, Sarah one long, hot summer when the lack of rain finally drives Sarah and the children to Maine."
"Caleb′s Story continues the saga begun by the Newbery Medal-winning Sarah, Plain And Tall and its sequel, Skylark, spinning a tale of love, forgiveness, and the ties that bind a family together."
"Cassie spends her days watching Grandfather and Caleb in the barn, looking out at Papa working the fields, spying on her mother, Sarah, feeding the goslings. She's an observer, a writer, a storyteller. Everything is as it should be. But change is inevitable, even on the prairie. Something new is expected, and Sarah says it will be the perfect gift. Cassie isn't so sure. But just as life changes, people change too. And Cassie learns that unexpected surprises can bring great joy."
(More Perfect Than the Moon)