I was absolutely delighted with this book on all counts. I originally got this for my daughter to review, but her schedule did not permit it. So I decided to undertake the task. As I began the book, I was reminded more than once of "Little House on the Prairie," a book series that I absolutely loved as a child. I felt like I was reading a modern-day pioneer story! And the delightful illustrations only added to the charm of this book.
This book cannot be easier to read, and it is the perfect introduction to this wonderful group of people known as the Amish. I wasn't sure my daughter would like the book as I read it with her in mind. But as I got into it, I discovered that this book is not just a "fairy tale Amish novel." I was most fascinated with how the Amish family dealt with the outside world. And it was little Lily who was always asking her parents about it. It was also nice to see the lifestyle of these wonderful people through the eyes of a child instead of an adult.
There were a couple of interesting stories that still showed where the true heart of the Amish family in the book is. Both evolution and racism come up as well as "witchcraft," and all situations are dealt in light of God's Word as well as Amish tradition. When I got to those portions in the book, I knew that my daughter needed to read this book, and I have set aside time in the future for her to do so. But even so, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I know that if this book had been around when I was a child, I would have loved it even better!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
This book is a charmer. Each chapter tells funny, interesting, and adventuresome stories, and the simple pen and ink illustrations are darling. I would recommend this book for third-fifth graders to read on their own, and for kindergarten-second graders for reading aloud - or on their own if they're advanced readers.
Bringing to mind the treasured Little House on the Prairie Books, "Life with Lily" is written in a light-hearted, engaging manner for young readers aged 8 to 12. Each chapter of the book recounts a different adventure or moment of learning for Lily, whether finding Lily driving her own pony and cart, rescuing her young brother from a wild dog, or getting into mischief with the sometimes mean-spirited Mandy Mast. The book allows readers a peek into what it would be like to grow up Amish, learning to work hard and play hard too, learning about the importance of family and treating others fairly and with love. "Life with Lily" makes me wish that more families were like Lily's, with loving parents, and fun adventures around every corner which don't involve television, video games or hand-held devices! I did wonder if the book was a bit long for the age group that it is intended for, as it is well over 200 pages. At the same time, it offers a good opportunity to cuddle up with your child and read some of the chapters together and talk about why the Amish choose to live the way they do, and the benefits of living life more simply. Despite being set in an Amish community, the story is one that all children are sure to identify with as Lily encounters new teachers, questionable friends, and even sees the effects of racism.
Life with Lily is a great start to a promising new series for young readers, and I give it a solid recommendation and a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Lily is Amish. She has two brothers. Her grandparents live close by.
This story gives a glimpse into the lives of Amish children. They are like any other chldren in the love of play. They go to school unless there is no teacher available. But material possessions are not a big desire.
The Amish have a strong faith.
Joseph, Lily's brother, tries to fly and breaks his arm. Lily is always getting into trouble because of a friend.
A sad turn of events comes when Lily's grandparents and parents decide to move. There was no teacher to be had at school. Her Mom was finding it hard to teach at home and provide financially for family.
If a simple life without tech toys is but a distant memory, read Life With Lily. Today many children spend too much time in front of a screen, have some form of entertainment dangling from their ears, and tire their thumbs texting. Not Lily and her friends. Everyday is a new adventure brimming with simple pleasures: playing with cats, climbing trees, helping mom in the house and garden and travelling by buggy to see grandma and grandpa. A stark contrast with the average child growing up in America.
I enjoyed this book along with my students, while reading it during story time. At first glance they thought the little girl on the cover was Hutterite, but then one little boy said, "No, she's Amish. I've seen the ones that live near Gladstone." (a small town here in MB) In many ways our children could relate with Lily, as they too help around the home and barns, then go and play games or explore the farm with their friends. However, our children have never had a buggy ride and they have no idea what it's like to not have electricity. Nonetheless, they thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Lily and learning that she, like them sometimes gets into mischief and that there are consequences.
For a children's book, I found that the chapters are a bit too long. Also, I think the print should be a bigger, so young readers will not be intimidated with so much tiny text on one page. Personally, I find bigger print easier for read aloud books as well.