Sarah's Web

Enter The 19th Century World Of Sarah And Her Friends

Sarah's Wish Reviews

"Are you tired of books of  fluff which young people read and get nothing out of?  Are you tired of books for young people being filled with vampires, sorcerers, and the like?"  --Kimberly Kovach 

Click here to see what Kimberly writes on her blog about Sarah's Wish: Train Up a Child

"The characters in the story are life-like and well rounded. In fact, they were so realistic that my children felt the emotions of the main characters where they paralleled similar life experiences to their own."  --Becky Joie

Check out what BeckyJoie has to say about Sarah's Wish. You will find her thoughtful and quite compelling in her review.  Leaders in Learning

"As I started to read Sarah's Wish, I was immediately transported back in time by Mr. Baumgardner's descriptive, heartfelt writing."  --WyldMomma

Go to Wyldhouse Homestead for the full review. What a great blog this is!

"...I would highly recommend this book to you. I consider Sarah’s Wish to be one worth reading. Charlotte Mason has said that 'Imagination does not stir at the suggestion of the feeble, much diluted stuff that is too often put into children’s hands.' Sarah’s Wish has awakened our imagination and is definitely not one of those fluff books that are thrown at kids these days."  --Barbara / Read the full review at: AliveInSpirit.

"I usually know within the first 3-5 pages of the book whether I will enjoy the book and finish it in a day, or if  I will never read it.

Well, the book Sarah's Wish falls into my first category. After beginning, I finished it that day, because I wanted to know what happened to Sarah and because I loved the way the author whisked you away to the 19th century. Very enjoyable."  --Heather / Check out Heather's blog at Faith, Family and Fun and read the whole review.   


Sarah's Promise Reviews

"Sarah's Promise is the second book in the Sarah series. Jim Baumgardner does not disappoint in this sequel to Sarah's Wish. In Sarah's Promise, we find Sarah still searching for a family of her own, but her search is quickly put on hold when Sam and Eliza are snatched by slave catchers. Sarah makes a promise to Ester, Sam and Eliza's daughter and Sarah's dear friend, that she will find a way to bring her parents home.

Readers are pulled into Sarah's life once again as we watch Sarah grow into a passionate young lady who is willing to fight for what she believes in. Readers learn more about the slave trade, slave catchers, the Underground railroad, and the hatred that surrounds slaves and slavery. Sarah and Granny put their lives on the line as they do their best to fulfill Sarah's promise.

My daughter and I really enjoyed this book. The story lead to conversations about what slaves and freed slaves went through during this time period. Reading Sarah's story allowed us to better appreciate the risks that those involved in the underground railroad took to help slaves and to better understand of the toll slavery took on families and our country."  --Heather at Marine Corps Nomads

Christian Book Previews

Click here to read a review of Sarah's Promise.


Comments From Readers of Sarah's Promise:


"I received the book Sarah's Promise and have already read it. It was very interesting as was the first one. Granny is my favorite person in the book and I have a picture of her in my mind." -- Betty


"I just finished reading the two Sarah books. I couldn't hardly put them down. When is the next book coming out? Can't wait to get it." --Jeannine


"We just finished reading "Sarah's Promise" we loved it. You did a great job with it and we look forward to the next book." -- Pamela and Zach


"I kept picturing Granny as a very large lady, until the book described her. Then, I started picturing my grandma, who was small. She's quite a character! Thanks for the great reading!" -- Rhonda

"I learned a lot about slaves. I thank you for everything...I am inspired by you. Thank-you!!! -Kiara

Sarah's Escape Reviews

"Sarah's Escape is book three in the Sarah series by Jim Baumgardner. It begins where Sarah's Promise left off. Uncle Rafe has entered back into Sarah's life. Sarah must find her mother's will and solve the clues to keep the farm, but Uncle Rafe is an evil man who will stop at nothing to get his way. Sarah's friends and family will band together with her as she fights against her uncle and the horrid things that he has in store for her. Along the way, Sarah grows into a more independent young lady who has to choose to hate or forgive her Uncle.

Sarah's Escape is more dark than the previous books due to Uncle Rafe's character. There were times when my daughter was a bit frightened by some of the scenes in the book, but she wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen to Sarah and her friends. She thought it was cool that Sarah got to meet Abraham Lincoln and spend time with the Indians. As the books go on, we have been able to watch Sarah grow and mature not just physically and mentally, but also spiritually. We look forward to seeing how Sarah handles the hatred that currently burns inside of her."   --Heather at Marine Corps Nomads

Comments From Readers

"I just finished your new book and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. I could hardly put it down last night to go to sleep. Let me know if you have another one coming out."  - - Jeannine

"Just finished Sarah's Escape and enjoyed it greatly. In fact I couldn't put it down for the past few days. I had finished James Michener's Journey the first of this week and then I received Sarah's book...I enjoyed reading Sarah's adventures more than Michener this time. It is a great story. Keep them coming. Thanks for great reading...” - Jean Ann

"Just finished the book yesterday. It was great. I couldn't believe how many twists and turns there were along with mysteries and intrigues. And even scary at times." --Lori

"Just finished Sarah's Escape!!!! Sure kept me scared for her...Thanks for the great books!" --Madeline

"I usually read non-fiction, but wanted to read you’re book. It was wonderful. Thanks for the great story." Edna

"The third book was so well written (not that the others weren't).  It was exciting, yet had a lot of history in it.  I believe it is the best yet."  --Ione

"You signed the books that I got for my birthday. My birthday was October 25 :-) I turned 10. I have read all 3 books. They were so exciting! I really like how the picture on the front of each book fits with the story. I think Sarah's Escape was the most exciting and scary. I had to keep reading! I can't wait to read the next book. Thank you for writing these books, you did a really, really good job!"   --Autumn Rose


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Sarah Ann Smith


The drawing above is Sarah as depicted by Ruth Rawlings of Augusta, Kansas. Ruth won the Draw Sarah Contest. This drawing appears in the third book of the Sarah series, Sarah's Escape. Congraulations Ruth!


The "Antebellum South" refers to the southern states before the Civil War. Latin was a language studied by many in the 19th Century, so people knew "ante" means before, and "bellum" means war.

Q:  "Was Sarah a real girl?"

A:  "Yes. She lived with my great, great grandparents, John and Elizabeth Baumgardner in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

In 1799 George Washington was very sick from a throat infection and died as a result of being bled excessively by his doctors.

In 1808 it became illegal to bring slaves to the United States.

Francis Scott Key wrote the STAR-SPANGLED BANNER in 1814.

Before the Civil War a person had more wealth if he owned slaves. Freeing the slaves meant giving up your property and doing the work yourself or hiring it done. Slave owners did not want to give up their wealth and then spend more money hiring folks to do the same work that had been done for free by slaves.

In Sarah's Wish Granny receives a telegram. In 1844 the first telegraph message was sent in Morse code.

The first official United States coin was minted in 1787.

Many people did not serve as conductors or agents on the Underground Railroad, but gave other support. Some made speeches saying slavery was wrong. Most runaways needed clothing, and many folks made new clothes for the slaves. For any slaves arriving sick, medicine was provided by the local medical doctor or sometimes an herb doctor like Granny Evans.

At various times in history, the White House has been known as the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.

The word “cowboy” refers to the boys (the average age of a cowboy was nineteen) who drove herds of longhorns from ranchland in Texas through Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) to the stockyards at Abilene, Wichita, Dodge City and other cowtowns. The trail drive took 60 to 120 days depending on how far south the cowboys were in Texas when they headed north, and the problems they encountered (stampedes, flooded rivers, Indian attacks). An average group of drovers consisted of one trail boss, eight cowboys, a wrangler to take care of the horses, and a cook. Most trail drives included black, Mexican, and sometimes Indian cowboys.

It has been estimated that at least 5,000 black men worked as cowboys on the cattle drives up the great trails of the Nineteenth Century. The Chisholm and Western were two of those trails.

The Post Office began to issue stamps in 1847.

Sarah's Wish is set in 1858. In that year the hand held can opener was patented by Ezra Warner. Also, home preserving jars were patented by Landis Mason.

"The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds." --Mark Twain

Mr. Balzer the apothecary is mentioned in Sarah's Wish; and Doctor Baum visits his shop in Sarah's Promise to purchase some patent medicines. The Shakers were the first to produce patent medicines, but it wasn't long before others began to produce these "wonderful" cure-alls, also. Patent Medicines were readily available at the drug stores throughout the 19th Century. Everything from baldness to cancer could be cured by drinking a liquid, swallowing a pill, or rubbing some liniment on the affected area. Many of the concoctions claimed to be effective for man or beast. Most were worthless.