Jim Baumgardner, the author of the Sarah books, was very generous last year to allow my daughters and I the opportunity to read and review the first three Sarah books he had written. I wrote about Sarah's Wish back then, and how I had enjoyed reading this series. I enjoy historical fiction because reading historical fiction is what eventually got me excited about learning history, a subject I despised in my K-12 and college years.
It's so nice to no longer despise history!
If your children enjoy reading historical fiction in the Civil War era, this trilogy (plus the new fourth book!) would be an excellent choice for them as a gift or to accompany studying this historical era. My girls enjoyed reading the series, but they weren't sure about the nightmares that Sarah had, at night and during the day while awake. This was a great opportunity for our family to discuss how everyone processes fears and trauma in a different way. That helped them understand a few of the things that Sarah said and did in these books.
Here's an excerpt from Chapter One of Sarah's Promise, Book 2 in the Sarah book series:
Before the sun peeked over the horizon, while the morning star still shimmered in the western sky, they attacked. The earth shook under the pounding hooves as two riders whipped their horses furiously, pushing them to the limit. Out of the dim eastern horizon they raced across the field, swiftly closing in on Sam and Eliza.
Slowly, the Negroes turned to the sound and squinted into the first gray light of dawn. Graybeard jammed his boot into Eliza’s side, the blunt force slamming her to ground. She groaned pitifully. Then, holding her side, she curled into a ball. Finally, after catching her breath, she screamed for her husband. Sam started for his fallen wife, but never made it. Tall Man pistol-whipped him, opening a bloody gash on the black man’s forehead. Crumpling into a heap, Sam lay dazed, eyes half closed. The brutal, hardhearted bounty hunters had the devil in their eyes. While gazing down at their terrible work those ice-cold eyes turned mean—real mean. Unhurried, they swung down from their snorting horses.
“Joel, hold that boy!” Graybeard yelled. “I’ll grab his woman.”
Sam groaned under Tall Man’s knee. The slave hunter had pinned him against the ground, shoving his gun against the Negro’s head just below the spot where blood trickled from the open wound. The dripping red disappeared into the earth.
Eliza screamed in a choked terrible voice as Graybeard yanked her to her feet. Then, dragging her without mercy to where Sam lay gasping for air, the big, ugly-faced man with the pointy gray beard shoved her down. Instinctively she rolled next to her husband. Reaching over she pressed her hand to his wound; the bleeding stopped.
Giving out a nasty laugh, Tall Man glared from greed-filled eyes and bragged with a hate-filled voice. “We’ve made our wages today. Can’t wait to git my hands on all that bounty money.”
“Sir,” Sam gasped, struggling to raise his head. “You have the wrong folks.”
“Shut up, boy!” Graybeard sneered. “We have you and that means money for us.”
“But, we’re free Negroes, not slaves. My name is Sam Smith and this is Eliza Smith.”
The slave hunter’s big frame blocked out the first rays of the morning sun and he stared back with dark eyes, cold as steel. “Don’t give me that, boy! Slaves don’t have last names,” the man lied. “Now, you shut your face or I’ll whip you good.”
Holding up her work-hardened hands, the humble black woman clasped them together, pleading, “My name is Eliza! That’s Sam!”
“Look here, you ol’ slave mammy,” the tall man growled through his ugly, brown, tobacco stained teeth. “I as soon whip you as look at you. Sure ain’t gonna listen to yer lies.”
Shaken by a terrible fear, Sam felt his throat tighten. Swallowing hard he gasped out, “I’m a free man! I’ve papers in my pocket to prove it. Sir, let me show you. Please! You have the wrong folks. We aren’t runaways. We’re free!”
In a wave of hot anger Graybeard yelled hatefully, “Not now, you’re not!”
If you are interested in buying the Sarah books for your own family or church library, they are available HERE.
An audio set of Sarah's Promise is also available! The set contains 5 CDs with approximately 5 hours of audio listening.
The Sarah books are imaginative and true-to-life in many ways. They are wholesome and a great choice for Christian families. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I have!
Disclosure: I received one copy of Sarah's Promise in exchange for an honest review of this book. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!