I am delighted to share with you a fabulous series of pre-civil war historical fiction books. I must begin with a word about the author, Jim Baumgardner. He first introduced himself to our Crew in an email, saying he was a 62 year old grandfather of nine children who were all homeschooled. He wrote these stories for them. "Ok, I’m in," I thought.
At the bottom of that first email was a copy of a monthly newsletter that the author creates. As I read through it, I immediately saw a great mix of fun historical facts, words of wisdom, questions from readers, and more, all put together in the author’s delightfully humorous style. I then visited Sarah’s Web , finding more information, some excerpts of the books, and even a section on the underground railroad which is featured in the first book, Sarah’s Wish that we received for review.
Upon receiving Sarah’s Wish, I was really impressed by the beautiful artistry and quality of the cover. I was also touched when I opened the cover to find Jim’s autograph with a little butterfly sticker. (He’ll include an autograph on yours too!) I hid the book out for a couple of days until I had a chance to read it. I knew if I left it out, it would be immediately confiscated and devoured by both of my girls. I ordinarily just hand the fiction to them, but after doing my preliminary research and seeing the beautiful cover, I knew that beyond that pretty cover was probably something I wouldn’t be able to put down until I was finished. And, I was correct. I began reading one evening while everyone was beginning to wind down, and after taking a short break to put everyone to bed, I continued to read and read. I was disappointed that my eyes wouldn’t cooperate until the book was finished, but I finally gave in and took a break to sleep, only to find myself waking early to finish the last three chapters.
This is a wonderful book. It starts off with a very sad event, and left me wondering a bit how it would affect my girls, but I soon realized that Sarah’s adventures and character development throughout the story really build from the tragedy. She is a precocious, determined , likeable little girl (reminded me a bit of Anne of Green Gables), and I found myself living the story both through her eyes and through her mother’s eyes looking down on her, seeing the seeds of faith and hope she had planted flourish despite desperate circumstances.
Upon finishing the book, I immediately ordered the other two.
I really believe these are valuable, wonderful additions to any family library, homeschool study, public school library, regular public library, and reading list. They surely will become favorites of your young ladies (and there is really enough adventure to captivate your boys too), and inspire imaginations as well as good character.
The newsletter is such a great addition to the Sarah books, as it continues to come monthly, giving us a little taste of Sarah’s world even after the books are read and put back on the shelves. To subscribe, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and enter "send newsletter" in the subject line. You can unsubscribe at any time, but I’ll bet you won’t.
Sarah’s Wish can be purchased on Sarah’s Web for $9.99 with free shipping and handling, and author’s autograph.
It also comes in audio book form, (4 cd’s, approx 4 hours of listening) for $16.99, free S & H.
For excerpts and prices of Sarah’s Promise and Sarah’s Escape, see the website. He also offers a three book deal for $39.95!
Enjoy your kids, and offer them a wholesome taste of history in a form they can enjoy and live!
This product was offered free of charge to me as a member of the TOS Crew for review purposes. Opinions expressed here are my own.