Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life with Lily by Suzanne Woods Fisher & May Ann Kinsinger: Book Review

About the book and authors:  Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher and debut author May Ann Kinsinger introduce readers to 6-year-old Lily Lapp in Life with Lily, the first book in The Adventures of Lily Lapp series. It combines the real-life stories of growing up Amish from Kinsinger’s childhood with Fisher’s critically-acclaimed writing. The first of four novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, Life with Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish.

Kinsinger was raised in a happy Old Order Amish home in western Pennsylvania. After she and her husband made the difficult decision to leave the Amish, she started the blog A Joyful Chaos as a way to capture her childhood memories. “I was told almost every day by readers that they would love if I published my memories in a book,” says Kinsinger. “I love how dreams can come true bigger and better than I could have imagined.” After becoming friends with Fisher through her blog, the pair jumped at the opportunity to collaborate on a children’s series.

“The Lily books are more than just another good children’s series,” says Fisher. “They’re a little slice of America, a peek into the world of a happy Amish family, fun and foibles. I have a sneaking hunch that children of all ages will quickly grow attached to Lily.”

My thoughts:  This is an interesting story of a little six year old Amish girl and her life and family on the farm.  It is written to hold the interest of young children.  It can either be read to the non-reading child or can be read by those able to read "chapter books."

Each chapter is just a few pages long and would not tire the young reader but would engage with interesting topics and conversations and draw the child back for more.

Lily almost pulls the tail of another
"kitty" that was really a skunk!
Lily is a lively and obedient child who wants to interact with children her own age and with her family.  Like other children her age, she is bothered by such things as a "mean neighbor" and understanding just why he is like he is.  She is happy to help prepare the barn for Jim, their horse, and for the new cow that has been given to them by spreading hay to make their "floor" softer.  She enjoys planting corn seeds and tomato plants with her mother. She is a joyous child.

But change comes.  People change.  So Lily's parents and many other families in her community choose to move.

There is not a big plot to Lily's story.  It is simply a collection of episodes in Lily's daily life growing up on an Amish farm, attending an Amish school and church, and helping her mother with basic chores.  The reader will learn a lot about how the Amish live plain and basic, and their use of farm grown and produced products.  You won't have to screen this book for inappropriate material, but you may want to read it simply because it is a nice read. I plan to pass this sweet book along to my book-loving grand daughter.  I know she will find a friend within its pages.

Life with Lily is book the first of a four-part series. 

“Available October 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

DISCLOSURE:  I was given a copy of Life with Lily by the publisher, Revell, on behalf of the author in order to render a review with my honest opinion.  All opinions express are solely my own and I was under no obligation to render a positive review.


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