Monday, October 19, 2009

Sarah’s Wish

When I was sent this book by Jim Baumgardner I was thrilled. It had several things going for it, in my opinion. First of all, Jim wrote this book for his grandchildren. He has 9 who are all homeschooled. I Love that. I have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Baumgardner through his emails. He has a wonderful sense of humor and an obvious love of history, and a nose for the type of quality literature he would want his own grandchildren to read. It makes me feel very safe letting my kids read books a man wrote with his own grandchildren in mind. Here is an excerpt of the email he sent out to those of us reviewing this book on the Crew.

The Sarah Books are authored by me for my grandchildren. I say that so that you will know these books do not have any sex, profanity, or anything that would be offensive to young readers. I would never subject my grandchildren to such writing.

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.

Not all learning has to be from textbooks. Kids like to see history set in story form, and the Sarah books fulfill that quest for realism. The reader will learn pre-civil war history while enjoying a good read.

That is exactly what we found Sarah’s Wish to be; a delightful read, which was historically accurate, and good clean and fun.

My girls have asked for the rest of the books. I wish I could just go out and order them. I HATE saying no to my kids when they’re asking for books. Sadly money is tight right now so we’re not able to buy any extra’s. I have added these to the Christmas list though. We have a few relatives who send money down for Christmas gifts and I think that money will be spent on Sarah’s books!

There are a few things to me, that take these books over the top as far as appeal. One is the audio component. I have two dyslexic children so anytime I can get something on audio I do. It is such a good practice to have my dyslexic child follow along in the book while listening to the audio. When you buy the book, you get some numbers to type into some little boxes on a website (what a technical explanation!) and you can download the audio! I had my son use his magic and convert them to the right type of file and upload the book onto my daughter’s iPod. It is an ancient iPod (a 1st gen) and it all fit and worked like a charm.

Also, Mr. Baumgardner has a newsletter he sends out with fun facts, historical information pertaining to the book a question of the month and several other things pertaining to the stories.

Another little bonus for me was that Mr. Baumgardner is from Wichita, KS, my old stomping grounds and he volunteers at the Old Cowtown Museum which I visited as a child. I remember spending a day there in 1800’s garb (including my great grandmothers actual bonnet! Which I still have!) in the one room schoolhouse. I have very fond memories of Cowtown and can’t wait to take my kids there next time I’m in town visiting relatives. I may stop and introduce myself to Mr. Baumgardner!

This book, about the underground railroad in 1858 Kansas. It’s about a little girl, a great tragedy, and a big wish. This book gets an A+ from this Homeschooling mama!

You can go here to read more about Mr. Baumgardner and the Sarah books (including excerpts). And as always you can click on the icon below to see what others had to say about Sarah’s Wish.

Happy Homeschooling!

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