Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sarah's Wish

As a 2nd year member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. The only compensation that I receive for my review is the free product. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out more products and giving you my honest opinion.

I was introduced to historical fiction a couple of years ago while participating in a book club. To be honest, I really didn't think that I would enjoy it, but it has since become my favorite genre. I guess the appeal comes in the fact that we all have a curiosity of what it was like to live in a different time. And also, I just really enjoy history.

In school, however, history was one of my least favorite subjects and I truly believe that our students are receiving a horrible injustice in regards to how they are being taught history. Why are they only being taught to memorize boring dates and names from a boring text that they will completely forget once they've completed their semester test when they could be reading great literature that was written about that time period or during that time period?

Sarah's Wish by Jim Baumgardner is the perfect example of a novel that can be used to make history come alive for students. It's set in 1858 and follows the story of Sarah Smith, a 12 year old little girl who helps her mother, a "conductor" of the Underground Railroad. When her mother dies at the beginning of the book, Sarah is left to continue her mother's work helping slaves find their way to freedom and transition into finding a new family herself.

I've yet to read this book with our kids, but I think it will make a wonderful addition to our read-alouds this Spring as we are studying Early American History this year. Jim does a wonderful job of including educational tidbits throughout the novel...things like how a wagon wheel is made and the workings of a steamboat. This novel is written to a younger audience and I have to admit that I wasn't riveted throughout the entire book, but there is certainly enough adventure to keep my little ones interested.

Sarah's Wish is the first book of a series that currently has three books available. You can purchase it for only $9.99 which includes a free audio download of the book. You'll find excerpts of the book on Sarah's website and more reviews of this book on the TOS Crew blog. Pin It Now!

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