The Polar Express Wiki

Sarah is a character in The Polar Express book and film. She is Hero Boy's younger and only sister.

Role in the book

While opening her presents with Hero Boy on Christmas morning, Sarah finds one small present behind the tree for Hero Boy. Inside was the silver bell he had lost the night before along with a note from Santa explaining what happened to it. When Hero Boy shakes the bell, it makes a beautiful sound both he and Sarah like, though their parents cannot hear it with their father assuming it is broken.

Sarah, along with Hero Boy's friends, would continue to hear the bell for years, but they all would find a Christmas when they could no longer hear it. However, the bell would still ring for Hero Boy into adulthood.

Role in the film

At the beginning of the film, Hero Boy goes downstairs to see if Santa Claus had come, but sees no presents under the tree. Suddenly, a shadow of what appears to be Santa appears, but it turns out to be his father and Sarah. Hero Boy runs back to his room and watches Sarah get tucked into bed through the key hole. Sarah talks to her parents about what Hero Boy told her about Santa, saying he would have to travel faster than light in a sled larger than an ocean liner in order to deliver everyone’s presents in one night. Her parents assure her he was just joking and that Santa will come, but only if she goes to sleep.

Right before Hero Boy boards the Polar Express, the Conductor mentions Hero Boy made Sarah put out the milk and cookies this year.

The next morning, Sarah excitedly wakes up her brother, telling him that Santa has been to their house. After he gets up, she goes to wake up her parents. Soon, they are downstairs opening their presents when Sarah finds a small present behind the tree for Hero Boy, which has the silver bell inside. They each shake the bell and enjoy the beautiful sound it makes, but their parents do not hear it when they shake it.

Over the years, Hero Boy's friends, as well as Sarah, would stop being able to hear the bell, unlike Hero Boy, who would continue to hear it into adulthood.

In other languages

Language Name Voice actor(s)
French Sarah Lola Krellenstein
Italian Sarah Valentina Rossi
Polish Sara Zuzanna Bernat
Swedish Syster Sarah Alexandra Alm


  • The character was based on Chris Van Allsburg's real-life sister, Karen, who was also born in 1947, but was 2 years older than him.
  • In the book, Sarah does not appear in the beginning of the story, only at the end.
  • Sarah is the only major child character in both the book and the film who does not ride the Polar Express.
  • Sarah is one of five characters to have their names revealed in the movie, the others being Santa Claus, Billy, and Smokey and Steamer (although the latter two's names are only revealed during the end credits.)
  • In the film she wear's a pink headband but in the book she doesn't.


  • "But he said Santa would have to fly faster than the speed of light to get to everyone's house in one night, and to hold everyone's presents, his sled would have to be bigger than an ocean liner."
  • "Wake up! Wake up! Santa's been here! Santa's been here! Hurry up! Hurry up! Mom, Dad, wake up, wake up! Santa's been here, Santa's been here! Mom, Dad, look! He brought us all kinds of stuff! Look, a train!"
  • "This is the most beautiful-est, most wonderful-est Christmas ever. Wait, look. Here's one more. Has your name on it."


Children Hero Boy (Chris) Hero Girl (Holly) Know-It-All Billy the Lonely Boy Sister Sarah Gus the Toothless Boy Boy on Train Red Head Girl Little Boy Young Boy Steven Unnamed Kids
Adults Conductor Hobo Smokey and Steamer Santa Claus Pastry Chefs Waiters Hero Boy's parents
Elves Elves Acrobatic Elves Elf General Elf Lieutenant Elf Singer
Animals Caribou Santa Claus' reindeer
Toys Ebenezer Scrooge puppet Scrooge's friends