This first historical book in the "Sisters in Time" series by Colleen L. Reece is published by Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Sarah's New World is written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
John and Sarah Smythe's parents want to give their family the opportunity to worship God freely. Along with other Pilgrims, they decide to leave Holland in 1620 for America. Their first ship, the Speedwell is deemed unfit to sail after they've lived aboard it for many months, and they are transferred to the Mayflower. John and Sarah struggle to maintain faith, hope and a sense of humor despite the hunger, sickness and death around them. As they reach America, they feel torn: They know their lives won't be easy, but they eagerly anticipate making the New World their home.
Nearly all of the main characters' actions and decisions are based on their faith in God. They frequently quote Scripture and share Bible stories to encourage one another on the difficult journey. They also pray often for direction and give thanks for God's providence.
John and Sarah's parents are kind, God-fearing people who care about their children's feelings and opinions. Prayerful Pilgrim leaders firmly commit to following God's will regarding a life in the New World. Even one of the gruff sailors (Klaus) on the Mayflower befriends John and Sarah after they're kind to him.
Other Belief Systems
The sailors on the Mayflower demonstrate a general attitude of superstition; they're not sure what to make of the God their passengers worship.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- What are some difficult times in your life where God has helped you through?
- Why do you think God allows bad things, such as the deaths of some of the other Pilgrims in the story?
- What were some of the lessons John and Sarah learned from their Mayflower experience?
- How can we set a good example for people like Klaus, who don't believe in God?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.