Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Big Year for Lily by Suzzanne Woods Fisher co-written with Mary Kinsinger

About the book:  Lily Lapp's family has settled into their new home in Pennsylvania, but life still holds big changes and big steps for Lily. Good changes, like once again living close to her beloved cousin and best friend, Hannah. Bad changes, like a mean girl who plays tricks on her. And no change at all where Lily would most want one--Aaron Yoder sits near her in school and relentlessly teases her. Surprises are in store for Lily as she learns, with Mama and Papa's help, to manage the ups and downs of growing up Amish.

The third of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, A Big Year for Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish---and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines Mary Ann Kinsinger's real-life stories of growing up Amish and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With charming line drawings in each book, this series captures the hearts of readers young and old.

Review:   Another lovely, lively Lily Lapp tale!  The third book in the series has enough details in it that it can be read without having read the first two volumes.  It would make a perfect chapter book to read to young children or for a  6,7, 8 year-old and up to read alone.
As the family grows, Lily grows up gaining more responsibilities, often watching her baby brother, Paul.  Her other siblings, Joseph and Dannie sometimes irritate her when she wants to spend time alone reading or painting pictures.  Still she loves them and feels terrible when Dannie crashes into the barn on his first solo sled ride.  Lily was supposed to be in charge, but couldn't resist his request to go down the hill alone.  The family is trying to make the best of Christmas Day alone while Dannie recuperates, but would love to be with the extended family at Grandpa and Grandma's.  They are surprised and touched when the entire Christmas Day feast is carried to them and all the relatives trek through the snow to spend the day with Lily's family. This is just one instance showing the strong family ties in the Amish brotherhood. 
School has been a highlight in Lily's life in the past years and she can't wait till it starts again, especially since cousin Hannah will be at her school now.  When Hannah takes a liking to Aaron, the boy who seems to live to make Lily's days miserable, it comes between the cousins.  Lily is also left defending herself when someone keeps switching sandwiches in the students' lunches, making it appear that Lily is stealing!  Being shy, she can't seem to find the words to convince the teacher that she is innocent and that leads to notes home to Mama and Papa.  They find it hard to believe their sweet girl would do such things.  She is so distraught when it keeps happening that she starts checking her lunch in the morning and at recess.  Teacher Rhoda catches her returning yet another sandwich "plant" and assuming Lily is guilty, she assigns an unreasonable number of sentence writing:  "Thou shalt not steal".  Finally Aaron, her nemesis, tells the teacher that he saw Effie making a switch involving Lily's lunch.  That took courage, because Effie, not the nicest girl in class, would definitely get back at Aaron eventually!
Home is a haven for Lily, especially her time with her father.  When he takes her to town to help with the shopping, he rewards Lily with her first ice cream cone.  She is delighted when he explains she can lick the ice cream right from the cone, but Papa forgot to explain that the cone was edible.  Lily tosses it over the edge of the buggy thinking it was cardboard.  She won't do that again! 
She loves artwork, so Mama surprises her with a box of 64 crayons.  Later when they are destroyed in a school fire, Papa replaces them for her. He even took a box of paints, brushes and art books as part payment for some work he did which he presented to Lily. She began painting pictures for gifts and dreams of the day she will be a famous artist and have ice cream after dinner, every single day. Also,store bought bread and deli meat in every school lunch! 
Lily is still learning the lessons that every child needs to learn, how to think before she acts or speaks, and not to take matters into her own hands. The book ends with Lily turning ten, and that means a lot of changes in the clothes she wears and the privilege of sitting with her friends in church services.  There will be one more book in this wholesome series and I just wish they had been written when my daughter was little!  There are always granddaughters to read them to!  Thank you Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher for this glimpse into the Amish world! (reviewed by Carly Karns, ACS teacher)    
About the author:  Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines.
DISCLOSURE:  A complimentary copy  was provided in exchange for our honest review by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the publisher and author. We were under no obligation to render a positive review.

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