Monday, October 19, 2009

Sarah's Wish

**Note: if you are reading this on facebook, please scroll to the bottom and click "original post".
I was so very fortunate to receive a complimentary and autographed copy of Sarah's Wish, by Jim Baumgardner to review, as a member of The Homeschool Crew. Sarah's Wish is the first book in a Christian Historical Fiction Series.

Before I tell you about the book, I want to share with you my thoughts about the author Jim Baumgardner. During the review process, we as the crew, often will receive a few emails from the publisher/author/creator of what we are reviewing. Mr. Baumgardner has been a joy! In fact he has been a hoot! LOL!
The emails that he sent us have actually had me giggling right out loud! And the good thing about that, is that his wit is sprinkled throughout the story Sarah's Wish.

Here is how Mr. Baumgardner introduced himself to the crew:

"I am a 62-year-old grandfather of nine grandchildren, all homeschooled by my two daughters and one daughter-in-law. The Sarah Books are authored by me for my grandchildren.  I say that so that you will know these books do n ot have any sex, profanity, or anything that would be offensive to young readers. I would never subject my grandchildren to such writing. "

I have to tell you, I just loved this book!

I'll be honest with you, when I began reading the book, I did not read the back of the book, I just opened it up and read it. At least, that is how I started reading it... you'll have to keep reading to see how I finished the book!  Anyhow, I loved reading the book only knowing the setting, and not the premise. The only bit of information I had  was that it was set in 1858, Ohio.

As I read the book, it reminded me of a Stephen Spielberg film. Think Indiana Jones... when you sit down to watch one of the Indy movies, within the first five minutes of the film, some major action scene unfolds and you are totally immersed in the story.

That is exactly how Sarah's Wish begins. And before you know it, you have a hard time putting the book down, you want to know what is going to happen to sweet Sarah next.  And because I did not read the "sleeve" information, I was reading in anticipation of  what I thought would come next. And I loved that!  However, I feel that it would be a bit of an injustice to not share some of what I found in the story with you.

***Spoiler Alert***
Don't read this section if you do not want to know about the story. Scroll down to the next set of ****.

As I mentioned earlier, the story takes place in 1858, Ohio. Just prior to The Civil War. Sarah is orphaned and left with the

responsibility of delivering 'the packages' that had just arrived at their home. Her mother had always told her that they must not tell anyone about 'the packages'. It must be kept secret. What are these packages??

We quickly learn that 'packages' were runaway slaves traveling along the Underground Railroad. They used this name as to not tip off the slave catchers.

Sarah's Wish is indeed about Sarah's Wish, however this is historical fiction. So, the setting of the Underground  Railroad, and Sarah's heart to help these dear souls to find freedom are throughout the story. Along with the adventures of Sarah and the people in her life.

End of Spoiler!!!************

The characters in the story are vivid indeed, especially Granny Evans. She speaks with sayings that I have heard, or remind me of something that my grandfather from Georgia would say! And I love those colloquialisms. Doc Baum, the town doctor is the great, great grandfather of the author,  Jim Baumgardner. Talk about having a connection.

An aspect that I really like about this book is that it is unabashedly Christian. When you are reading it you know where each of the characters stand.    As Sarah is on her journey, praying for her wish, each time she is feeling low, a butterfly flitters by and lifts her spirits. Reminding her to keep her faith!

This book as been a hit in my house! I now have a wish of my own! The rest of the books in the Sarah series have been placed on my "wish-list"! As I told you at the beginning of this review. I started out reading this book. However, I quickly discovered that my book was not only autographed to me... there is also a link to download an audio version of the book!!! Wahoo!! So I ended up listening to the whole thing ( listened to the parts I already read) on my computer! I was drawn in to the story! It was amazing. Very similar to the old time radio shows! (As mentioned in the beginning of the book!)

As many of you know, I have several special needs in my house. So it is such a blessing to have quality Christian Historical Fiction in audio form, in order to help my struggling readers enjoy this amazing story!

Because this is historical fiction, there are phrases and words that are no longer in our vernacular, so Mr. Baumgardner has included a glossary of terms. While there are terms that are included in this story, that are offensive, we must look at the time frame of our history that we are discussing. And I have to tell you that it was handled very well. I commend Mr. Baumgardner for painting what I think is a good picture of that time period. ( considering I was not alive then )

Sarah's Wish is available at for $9.99. You, too, can have your copy autographed! You will also find the other books in the Sarah Series available for individual purchase or bundles.

There is also a free monthly email newsletter available called "Sarah's Web Newsletter. You will find history facts, a question of the month among other fun tidbits. You can sign up for that on Sarah's Website.

When you visit the website, read the books, and look at the newsletter, you can see that the Sarah Series is a labor of love. I would like to thank Mr. Baumgardner for introducing us to Sarah!

If you would like to see what the rest of the crew has to say, please visit the crew blog!

******This just in******

We have a special offer for the readers of our blogs. If you are interested in the Sarah Series, Mr. Baumgardner has offered you a special. Here it is:

Mail Order Only:

Sarah’s Wish – 126 pages $8.50 retail: $10.99 save $2.49

Sarah’s Promise – 245 pages $10.50 retail: $14.99 save $4.49

Sarah’s Escape – 304 pages $15.50 retail: $21.99 save $6.49

Extra special offer: Purchase all of the items above and add an extra copy of Sarah’s Wish for $4.00. You can give it to a friend. They will think you are great!

If you are interested in this offer, please send me an email at Jsouthern93(at)gmail(dot)com. And I will email you the required order form.

Mr. Baumgardner sent us this offer after our reviews were posted. I wanted to share it with you. However, with this offer, we may be eligible to recieve and additional free book. Please, know that I wrote my review prior to this offer. The review reflects my honest opinions.

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