Sahbaar's Secret

The Fight for Acceptance

Children - Grade 4th-6th
142 Pages
Reviewed on 06/29/2019
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Author Biography

Paul G. Wilson was born on October 16, 1957 in West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee WI. Paul was encouraged to read at a young age by his parents, and was reading at an eighth grade level when he was in third grade. His love of reading led him to begin writing short pieces as a child.
After high school, Paul found an ad for a free writing test for a writing correspondence school. After scoring well, he took the course and graduated from the Children's Institute of Literature in Redding Ridge, Connecticut. His final project was a chapter book, The Secret of Blackbeard's Treasure.
Paul began writing children's stories as a hobby, always hoping that someday he could share them with the world. Then, he signed up for an adult night school writing course at a local tech college. He was fortunate enough to pick a night where the class was taught by Jack Byrne, a local professional writer who was instrumental in getting the name of the course changed from Creative Writing to Writing for Publication. Jack introduced Paul to the publishing world, and helped him prepare to submit his stories.
When submitting directly to publishers didn't produce results, Paul turned to self-publishing and print-on-demand distribution. Fortunately, he has a life time of titles, and plans to release many titles in a variety of subjects in the next few years.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Friends are important. Sahbaar and Nero know this all too well. They have been best friends since they were young cubs. Sahbaar is a tiger; Nero is a lion. It doesn’t matter that they are different animals in the jungle. They have other friends, too; a gibbon, a rhinoceros, and even a crocodile. The innocence of youth and young friendships is unfettered by adult-based prejudices and unwarranted ideas that differences should not be accepted in a community. But the young know the importance and power of good friends, even if they are different. Sahbaar is definitely different. He has a secret that he tries to hide, that his parents help him hide. But, as he becomes more adventurous out in the jungle with his friends, his secret unravels and that’s his downfall, in a way. Nero’s father is king of the jungle and he commands Sahbaar to leave their jungle. The belief is that Sahbaar’s difference will be a danger to all the other animals. Sahbaar survives, young though he is when he’s banished, and he comes back to prove the king wrong in so many ways, but mostly in a noble, kind way.

Paul G. Wilson’s middle-grade novel, Sahbaar’s Secret: The Fight for Acceptance, is a powerful story that not only entertains, but it also educates young readers on the power and importance of good friends, the importance of family and, most significantly, the importance to accept and sometimes even honor everyone’s differences. For we are all different; human or animal, each one of us has something about us that makes us unique, makes us different. The plot is well developed and the reader is rooting for Sahbaar all the way through. What a grand adventure!

Grant Leishman

With a nod to The Jungle Book and The Lion King, Paul G. Wilson brings us his children’s book, Sahbaar’s Secret. Sahbaar is a young tiger cub with a secret – he’s not like the other tigers, yellow with black stripes. Sahbaar is a white tiger and his family knows that this difference is a danger to him and to them. The king of the jungle, the lion Rashar, and the Jungle Council are extremely hard on any animal that is different from their breed. Sabhaar’s parents know if Rashar were to find out about his coloring, something terrible will happen, perhaps even banishment from the jungle. Cleverly they devise a plan whereby Sahbaar will roll in a bed of crushed orange berries every morning to turn his fur orange like the rest of his family. His biggest fear is water that could wash the coloring out and, of course, rain. Sahbaar has to come to terms with his difference and deal with the consequences of it but, fortunately, he has some wonderfully loyal and loving friends, including Rashar’s own son, Nero, who will look out for him and watch his back. Trouble is coming to the jungle, though, in the form of the animal man with his shooting sticks. Sahbaar and his friends will have to dig deep and find all the courage they have to deal with this threat to the jungle way of life.

Sahbaar’s Secret is a truly delightful children’s book, probably best suited for middle-school children. Author Paul G. Wilson uses the story as a perfect vehicle to explain and reinforce what is important in life; loyalty, friendship, love, courage, and doing the right thing even in the face of intransigence and opposition. What I particularly liked about this story was the variety of animals that Sahbaar had as friends. All of them, even the slowest and most lumbering, such as the crocodile, had skills that would prove useful in the coming battle against both man and the elders of the jungle. The writing style is perfectly suited to the intended audience, without appearing to be “dumbed down” in any way. As an adult reading this story, I was still able to identify with the animal characters and their particular natures and quirks, which is always the sign of a well-written children’s book, in my opinion. I loved the story and the dramatic climax. As a children’s book with strong morals and valuable lessons for life, this story truly hit the mark perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can highly recommend it.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Sahbaar's Secret: The Fight For Acceptance by Paul G. Wilson follows the saga of Sahbaar the tiger cub. Sahbaar has a secret that he and his family try to keep concealed but soon it is revealed for all to see. Rahshar, the King of the Jungle, thinks that animals who are different are dangerous and Sahbaar’s life changes; he must leave his friends and family behind. Facing new challenges, Sahbaar teams up with someone he never thought he would meet and now it’s down to Sahbaar to save his friends – new and old – from serious danger. Overcoming his differences, Sahbaar fights for his rights and his place in the jungle. Can he save them all from a threat to their existence?

Sahbaar’s Secret: The Fight For Acceptance by Paul G Wilson is a wonderful children’s book, The Jungle Book reimagined. The story teaches children many important things – love, loyalty, friendship, courage and that, no matter what, the most important thing of all is doing the right thing. It also teaches that while someone may look different on the outside, it is what’s on the inside that is important. An interesting aspect of this book is the different friends that Sahbaar makes; all very different but all bringing their own useful skills. This is a perfectly written book, using simple descriptive language that is well suited to the target audience. It is an action-packed story that moves at the right pace. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I think it has been written perfectly for its intended age range.