Title: Sarah Whitcher’s Story
Author: Elizabeth Yates
Major Themes: 19th century, United States, New England, Historical Fiction, Frontier and Pioneer Life, Children’s Books, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: When a young pioneer girl gets lost in the forests of New Hampshire, will her family’s faith remain sure?
Sarah Whitcher’s Story brings the early American frontier to life. In the early days, being a pioneer was hard, rough work. The forests abounded with all kinds of wild animals, and families often lived in secluded spots where the nearest neighbors were an hour’s walk away—or further. Sarah and her family lived in their own little cabin surrounded by the thick forests, surviving on what they could bring out of the soil themselves.
One Sunday afternoon, three or four-year-old Sarah wandered off in play—and couldn’t find her way home. All afternoon, she roamed through the woods, always getting further from home. When darkness began to fall, it began raining, and she looked for shelter. She saw what she thought looked like a cabin, but when she went up to it she saw it was a big rock with a cave inside it. Just before it was completely dark, a shadowy shape came through the woods. “Ollie!” She called, thinking it was the family dog. After eating the flowers she held in her hand, the animal gently pushed her into the cave, and together they curled up to sleep.
At home, the family became worried when they realized she was missing. When Pa arrived—without Sarah—he said to Ma four words she’d never forget: “Trust in the Lord.” With that, he organized the family and gave each jobs to do to aid in helping to find Sarah. A few neighbors came, and soon a searching party was ready, all armed with lanterns, and they set off. But how could a young girl survive—all alone—in a forest full of wild animals?
I love Sarah Whitcher’s Story because of the faith that is portrayed in it. From the very beginning, Pa believed that they would find her quickly, safe and sound. “Trust in the Lord,” he told everyone—and he believed it. Even when others gave up, his faith in God never wavered. This book, while originally told as a folk tale, is actually a true story—and one that all will treasure. I recommend it to all families, and children any age will love hearing this story of faith, hope, and courage.
WARNING: For very sensitive children, some parts of the story may be scary, but almost everyone will be fine. This book is very “clean”.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently— Ages 7 – 8, 8 – 12, 10 – 12