Monday, October 19, 2009

Sarah's Wish by Jim Baumgardner

Picture 12 Product: Sarah's Wish
Company: Sarah Books
Price: $9.99US shipping included

As an avid reader of historical fiction, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read and review Sarah's Wish for TOS Homeschool Crew. Written by Jim Baumgardner (proud grandfather of 9 homeschooled grandchildren, by the way) Sarah's Wish takes you back in time to 19th century when slavery was still legal in many of the southern states of the USA. Young Sarah finds herself orphaned after her Mama is killed in an accident and as a result she must continue her Mama's quest to lead runaway slaves to freedom via the Underground Railway. Not knowing who to trust, Sarah must learn how to help those in need while at the same time cope with the loss of her mother. Through the book Sarah's faith is strong as she prays to God to grant her one special wish. However, by the end of the book she realizes that there are more important things than just this one wish.

This 126 page book was a delight to read and would be suitable for most children. I have not shared it with my children at this time as they are completely unaware of any of the hardships African Americans faced as slaves in America. While many slaves escaped to Canada, the history of the Underground Railroad is not a topic that is usually covered in Canadian social studies. However, in a couple years, I hope to cover some American history in our social studies unit and Sarah's Wish is a book that I look forward to sharing at that time. I have no doubt that the cast of characters and the vivid descriptions in this book with captivate them and keep them listening 'til the very last page. Learning opportunities are sprinkled as little extras through the book as Sarah learns from Granny, her guardian, about about herbs/medicine and goes on numerous outings with her (to the wheelwright, on a steamboat, for example). My children will surely gobble up these learning opportunities. Both of them are very much interested in herbalism and both have very much enjoyed the opportunities we've been given to explore history, via The Highland Village Museum and the Fortress Louisbourg here in Cape Breton. I am almost certain that they will share the same interest in American History. Jim Baumgardner's passion for history shines throughout his work and is very much contagious.

There are a few little extras worth mentioning as well. While this book is a delight to read aloud, there are instructions on how to download a free audio file of the book included at the end of the book. I have not listened to the whole audio file but the lady who does the reading is very good at what she does and really captures the feeling of the book. Jim Baumgardner also publishes an (about) monthly newsletter that is filed with little historical tidbits about the 19th century as well as sneak peaks of his other books Sarah's Promise, Sarah's Escape and a fourth book that is now in the works. To sign up visit his website here. On his website you will also be able to read excerpts from all three of his Sarah books, learn more about the Underground Railway, and even order an AUTOGRAPHED copy of any/all of the books. I invite you to check it out today!

***Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.


  1. As a seventh grade English teacher, I appreciate reading reviews of literature that would be suitable for inclusion in my classroom library. Thanks for this suggestion. I host a weekly blog event called Crock Pot Wednesday and would love for you to participate. Mister Linky is up for this week's Crock Pot Wednesday and there's a giveaway going on. Come check it out.

  2. Debbie,

    I do think that this would be appropriate for a 7th grade class. Each book in the series gets longer as well so by the 3rd book you are getting 300+ pages. The author has some reviews by 12-13 year olds on his website.

    I visited your website today. Very nice. I will plan to take part in crock pot Wednesday next time. I like to have pictures with my recipes and I don't have any of a crock pot recipe on hand. Some of the recipes look yummy and I am sure I will give some a try. Thanks for the invite!