Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Book Review: Sarah's New World
First sentence: Twelve-year-old John Smythe lay flat on the floor of the dark hallway. His right ear was pressed against the crack under the door to the parlor. He strained to make out what his parents' low voices were saying.
Premise/plot: Sarah and John Smythe are two of the children aboard the Mayflower. The Smythe family is excited to be going to the New World, a place where they can worship freely without threat of persecution. But the journey to America will not be an easy one. The voyage will be difficult for both Pilgrims and Strangers alike.
My thoughts: I enjoyed this one. I may not love, love, love the cover. But books should not be judged by their covers in the first place, right?! I will add that this is more John's story than Sarah's story. He is two years older. He is the one who likes to eavesdrop. He's the one who is often sharing news--even gossip--with his family. He is the one who is more adventurous and active on board the Mayflower. Sarah is definitely more of a passive heroine. She listens. She scolds. She obeys. She encourages.
The book blends fictional characters in with historical figures--men, women and children who actually sailed on the Mayflower. The book does a good job of providing context. Part of this comes through info dumps--sections of text where a LOT of information is shared via dialogue for the benefit of young readers. Faith is central to the family and there is discussion of what religious freedom is and why it's important.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible