Sadie Rose and the Mysterious Stranger

Thursday, January 8, 2015
They ran around the angry, fighting mass of bodies toward the trail that led across the prairie to Staff. Fresh energy rushes through them.
Just as they passed the house, Book blocked their way, a Colt .45 pointed right at Sadie.

Book: Sadie Rose and the Mysterious Stranger (A Sadie Rose Adventure) by Hilda Stahl, Crossway Books, 1993

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 10-14
Subjects: Slavery/Human Trafficing/Kidnapping, Family Relationships, Righteousness, Faith
Summary: Such an innocent cover – a house for poor children. All those hurting and lost, the orphans and poor can come in and find shelter and care. That’s what the town believes. Only those who live there know the truth. It’s a place of slavery. They are forced to work for the evil man and live in fear of his whip, gun or ability to withhold food from them. Sadie Rose and Opal are visiting the city with their stepdad when Horace Wippet offers them a chance to earn from money for a day. Admiring the items in the store window, the girls eagerly take him up on it since the townspeople vouch for what a good man he is. Once they realize their predicament they start attempting to find ways to escape, but despite the large number of children around, no one dares to escape. It’s just too dangerous. All the slaves at this “Poor Horse” say the same thing: Sadie and Opal will never see their family again.
Notes: The Mysterious Stranger is the eleventh of the Sadie Rose Adventures. This series tells of a twelve year old girl’s first year living in the Nebraska sandhills during the pioneer days. Sadie has a knack for getting into danger. The series focuses a lot on family relationships as Sadie lives with her mother, stepdad, older sister, older brother, younger sister and younger brother. It also focuses a lot on the hopes and dreams of marriage for the young girls. The culture was for girls to marry quite young so the characters, especially Sadie’s older sister focus heavily on trying to find a good husband. There is also a strong thread of forgiveness and the importance of telling the truth running through the series.
In this eleventh book, the main character now shifts back to Sadie Rose, but with a focus on the adventure and the side characters’ spiritual struggles more than Sadie’s. Sadie actually shows a lot of maturity in this book (despite the foolish decision to walk off with a total stranger just because he promises you a chance to make some money). She is the one to lead the other children in an uprising against their captors, inspiring them with songs of praise to God. The side characters are those who know what is happening to the children but have either turned a blind eye to it or even gone along with it, helping with it. Sadie’s example inspires some of them to turn back to the faith they knew as children and pursue righteousness instead of greed. An interesting twist from the earlier books is that Sadie and Opal both boldly declare over and over again that their stepfather will come rescue them, will stop at nothing to rescue them. They have complete faith in his love and care for them as opposed to the early books in the series that take place about a year ago chronologically. In the earlier books Sadie very much doubted her new stepfather’s love for them and was always angry at him. Now she is viewing him as her hero.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 Corinthians 16:13 – Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
Psalm 94:16 – Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?


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