You know, I’ve been blessed to have received a lot of great products to review this year and I’ve gotten a lot of emails from a lot of different vendors and they’ve all, in general, been a nice group of people.
Then, I got an email from Jim Baumgardner, author of Sarah’s Wish, a book I was to review.
Through the course of the review process, I’ve received an additional two or three emails from him and let me tell you, he just seems like a genuinely nice — and very funny — guy. Mr. Baumgardner is grandpa to nine grandchildren, all of whom are homeschooled, and he let me know upfront that he wrote these books (so far there’s a three-book series about Sarah) for his grandchildren, so there wouldn’t be any sex, profanity or anything along those lines that might offend young readers because he wouldn’t want his grand-kids reading stuff like that.
Did the fact that Mr. Baumgardner is a nice guy automatically mean that his book was going to be enjoyable? No…but it was! Sarah’s Wish is set in Ohio in the year 1858. Tragically, Sarah is orphaned when her mother is killed in an accident in Chapter 1, leaving Sarah alone and with a big secret to keep — their home is a stop on the Underground Railroad! Sarah must act quickly to help the runaway slaves who are now solely dependent upon her.
Sarah soon finds a friend in Dr. Baumgardner (hey, I guess when you write the book, you deserve a cameo appearance) and Granny, a feisty old woman with a vernacular that will have you and your kids laughing out loud — and, probably referring to the glossary at the front of the book a time or two. The glossary, by the way, is a very handy reference to some of the nineteenth century words and phrases used throughout the book.
The story takes you right into the action as you experience the suspense and drama of the Underground Railroad, the colorful sights and sounds on the Ohio River, and the emotional ups and downs of Sarah’s adjustment to being alone in the world.
I loved the fact that the book came with a free audio download. I’ve listened to audio books before and have never really enjoyed them, but the lady who reads Sarah’s Wish does a great job with character voices and has an enjoyable reading pace. It was nice to be able to listen to the book while sketching. You could also save the files to a CD and enjoy listening while running your poor, unsocialized homeschooled kids from place to place.
Sarah’s Wish is classified as Christian historical fiction, but, here’s what Mr. Baumgardner says about that…
The books have been referred to as Christian fiction. I prefer to describe them as Young Adult fiction written by a Christian author. Sarah’s faith is important to her and she lives by it, but the books do not try to convert the reader to anything. The stories do teach Christian principals of living a good life and treating others as you would have them treat you. I do not ignore the evil in the world and Sarah must confront it at times just as we all do.
I found that to be a perfect description of Sarah’s Wish. If you’re studying the Underground Railroad, slavery, the Ohio River or you just enjoy a good historical fiction book, you’ll want to be sure to add Sarah’s Wish to your reading list. It retails for $10.99, but you purchase an autographed copy for only $9.99, along with Sarah’s Promise or the latest in the series, Sarah’s Escape, in print or audio books, from the author’s website. Prices for the second two books and the audio books vary.
I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Actual results may vary.