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Sarah’s Wish Review

Posted in Homeschooling, and Reviews

Sarah’s Wish
by Jim Baumgardner
The Accident



It all seemed to have happened in one of those slow-motion moments. Actually, the horse heard it first-the rattle sound. The sound that leaves goose bumps on a big man’s neck. By the time the girl caught eye of it, Blackie had instinctively shied to the right.

“Snake!” Rachel pointed at the coiled serpent, its mouth gaping, fangs laid bare.

Blackie bolted. The sudden jerk slammed Rachel against the seat, wrenching the reins from her hands. Immediately she reached for twelve-year-old Sarah. Careening wildly along the narrow lane they furiously clutched at the buggy seat.

“Blackie!” Rachel screamed. “Whoa! Whoa, Blackie!”

The frightened horse raced on at full gallop while the reins dragged the ground. Mother and daughter tightened their grip and waited for Blackie to run himself out.

“Blackie!” Sarah screamed. “Stop, Blackie! Oh, please! Stop! Mama, I’m scared!”

Rachel shrieked louder, “Whoa!”

The lane curved sharply right, but the frantic horse dashed straight on. Ten feet into a meadow the buggy struck the outcroppings of a stump and shot Rachel down the seat smashing into Sarah. Flipping onto its side the buggy slammed the ground, digging in. Dirt and grass flew in all directions. Breaking loose from the splintered buggy, Blackie made a blue streak through the wild flowers and disappeared into the woods.

The dust settled-silence…

Sarah’s Wish sends the reader back in time — back to a time where slavery was legal.  Through detailed descriptions and heart tugging situations, Jim draws the reader into Sarah’s life.  We enter Sarah’s story as she tries to deal with the tragic loss of her mother.  She struggles to deal with the grief of losing her mother while deciding how to handle her family’s secret.  Unsure of who to trust, Sarah tries to do everything on her own.  Slowly, close friends enter her circle of trust and help her in her mission of helping slaves to freedom.  Her heart is torn between wanting to help others and wanting a family of her own.  We see her love of others shine through as she puts her wants, needs, and safety on the line time and again. 

After reading the information about the book, I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of our copy.  Imagine my delight when I saw that we had received personalized, autographed copy.  Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down.  That lead to a very sleepy mommy the next morning.  As soon as I finished reading the book, I knew that I wanted to read the next 2 books in the series: Sarah’s Promise and Sarah’s Escape.  It’s always wonderful when you can pick up a well written book with clean language.  While the book deals with difficult topics, they are handled in a manner which works for readers of all ages.

Munchkin has enjoyed reading Sarah’s Wish.  She connected with Sarah and felt really sad that she had to go through so much.  She was also impressed that someone so young could do so much to help others.

We used Sarah’s Wish as a natural starting point for doing a unit study on Slavery and the Underground Railroad.  Jim’s website has some good basic information on the Underground Railroad.

I highly recommend signing up for Jim’s newsletter.  It’s filled with great information, and it gives you the opportunity to get to know Jim a bit better.

About the author:

Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Jim Baumgardner resides quite literally on the old Chisholm Trail that ran from the Red River, north through Indian Territory, to the cattle towns of Kansas. Wichita is one of the original cow towns of the old west, and Jim helps keep that history alive by volunteering at the Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita. His volunteer work extends both into schools and homeschool groups where he gives various programs on writing, the Underground Railroad, cowboys and trail drives, and early Wichita history.


Around age ten Jim began writing poems and songs. After reading some of Jim’s work, his father encouraged him to continue his writing. At nineteen he had his first article printed in a magazine. Forty years later at age fifty-nine his first novel, Sarah’s Wish, was published.

Mr. Baumgardner continues to reside in Wichita where he loves to stroll the dusty streets of Old Cowtown. It is there he can walk back into the Nineteenth Century and for a short time catch a glimpse of life as experienced by his grandfathers. It becomes a time to remember his roots, glean new story ideas, and never forget the hard working pioneers who contributed so much to the making of America.

Sarah’s Wish is available for purchase for $9.99 with free shipping.  I’m thrilled to announce that Jim has agreed to give my readers a discount on the Sarah book series.  You can see the discount and download the order form here.

One Comment

  1. Wendy Hilton
    Wendy Hilton

    I saw your beautiful daughter on Jim Baumgardner's newsletter! She looks wonderful, and I was glad to see her featured there. I'm sure that was lots of fun for her. I enjoyed reading your review of Sarah's Wish too. Blessings to you and your family. 🙂

    November 14, 2009
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