Friday, October 9, 2009

Sarah's Wish - A book review


Product: Sarah's Wish - a novel

Author: Jim Baumgardner

Price: $9.99 (Free s/h)

Where to buy:

Brief Overview:
The first in a three-book series, written by Jim Baumgardner, Sarah's Wish is a Christian historical fiction novel. It is set in 1858 in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

In-Depth Look:

Jim Baumgardner's novel, Sarah's Wish, is a historical fiction novel. It is set in Ohio during the late 1800s. Reading this book is a history lesson all in itself. Young readers will experience slavery, the Underground Railroad, travel on riverboats, apothecaries, and the Orphan Train. They will expand their vocabulary with "dated slang" such as cut shines, hatchel, mudsills and slantindicular. Children will be exposed to different classes of people from the sophisticated plantation owner to the back-woods granny to the slave longing to be free. When asked why he decided to write about history in fiction instead of non-fiction, the auther stated "telling the facts within the framework of historical fiction brings it to life." I agree whole-heartedly. My daughters and even I learn and retain so much more from reading a "living book" than we ever have from a textbook.

In addition to the history lesson, the novel is a Christian work. Young readers will learn about faith in God, waiting on God's timing, the value of honesty, and a man's right to be free. Sarah and several other characters in the story have a strong relationship with God that strengthens them during difficult times and leads them during confusing times.

Besides the benefits mentioned above; it is in fact, a good story. It has strong characters, a good plot, moral lessons, and unexpected twists and turns. After a tragic event at the start of the book, Sarah must find her way during the challenges that lie ahead. I won't disclose the tragedy but it is the reason for Sarah's wish. And the rest of the novel leads her on her journey to make this wish a reality.

If you enjoy this book, you will have two more books in the series waiting on you. A fourth book is planned. If you prefer to listen to the novel, the book includes instructions to download an audio version.

As an added bonus, the author will autograph your book. I just love autographed copies. So I greatly appreciated this extra "touch".

The author also has a free newsletter that he sends via e-mail. It has interesting facts about Sarah's books, but also about American history. You will find the link to sign up on this page.

Note: I feel I should mention that my daughters had a hard time getting through the first two chapters. The chapters were "less than cheery" and introduced several characters during a short amount of time. But by chapters 3 and 4, we were very much "into the story" and eager to see what would happen next. So if you find this to be the case with your youngsters, encourage them to wait it out a bit. It WILL be worth it.

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Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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