Friday, March 1, 2013

The Courage of Sarah Noble

One of the easiest things we do home schooling is reading chapter books.  My girls eat it up!  We just read a book which I have seen on various curricula, The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgiesh.  It was a Newberry Honor Book and is apparently based on a true story.  The girls enjoyed this sweet, 52 page book which is so simple I was able to read it to them in one sitting.
The plot is very simple.  Sarah is an eight year old girl in a large family.  Her father has purchased land in the wilderness of Connecticut.  He and Sarah leave their family and trek to the land.  They then live in a cave while they build a house.  Once it is completed, Sarah lives with some friendly Indians for a few months while her father travels back to get the rest of her family.

There is very little action in the book, but it does illustrate a different time in America - with wilderness, people building their own homes, and the presence of Native Americans. 

When some of the Indian children find Sarah in her cave by herself one day, she has no idea what to do.  So, she pulls out her Bible and reads it to them.  She then learns their language and she learns hers.  Thus begins a friendship which leads to her staying with them while her father travels back to get her family.

Another interesting chapter which led to a lot of conversation was about Sarah's night time prayers.  While she was living with the Indians, she continued her practice of praying to God every night.  She prayed for her parents and her siblings.  Then she debated with herself if she should pray for the Indians.  She prayed to God "If you take care of the Indians, please do."  We were able to talk about God's love for all people in the world, even non-believers.  We talked about intercessory prayer. 

When her father returns with her mother and siblings, there is, of course, a happy reunion.  But, after having lived with the Indians for several months, Sarah now dressed and acted like them.  Her father quickly made her change her clothes before her mother saw her.  This also led to some interesting discussions about prejudice. 

So, I'd recommend this book as a quick, simple read.  But, it is not very exciting or fun.  It is well written, but I kept wondering when is something going to happen?

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