Christian children's book, cover design

Book & Cover Review of "A New Home for Lily" by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

Front Cover of "A New Home for Lily" Back Cover of "A New Home for Lily"

Book Review

“A New Home for Lily” is the second book in an Amish Juvenille fiction series “The Adventures of Lily Lapp” by authors Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher. Although I did read book one of this series, my children and I would have enjoyed this book even without having read the first one. A lovely trait of both books is that each individual chapter is a small story of its own – making it perfect for bedtime story reading! The stories also connect into one over-arching story line, but the fact each chapter is a story of its own is perfect for younger readers with shorter attention spans.

I have read quite a bit of Amish fiction, but this series is the first I have ever read that is written from the viewpoint of a very young child. My girls don’t get that this is modern day and call it ‘stories about the girl who lived in a long time ago.’ And really, that is what is unique about reading Amish fiction. It doesn’t feel like our everyday lives, and yet we can still relate to the frustrations and joys these loveable younger characters face within the chapters of this series.

In book two Lily is dealing with learning to love the things that are different about her family’s new home in a new town. A new school, new friends … and all the feelings of being uprooted and transplanted into a new situation. What small child can’t relate to starting in a new classroom or a new school – even if they don’t have to move to a new home?

* This book was provided by Revell for review with no promise of a positive review.

Book Cover Review

Like the first book’s cover, this one also fits the series very well. I think the cover of book one was slightly more eye-catching because of the brighter sun and the vibrant red barn in the background, but this cover is still successfully crafted. I like that the model (the little girl in Amish clothes) is not looking at the reader in either cover. This helps to emphasize that this is a book about everyday life. She isn’t posing for a special event. She’s simply taking care of her goat. And there is a great goat story in at least one of the chapters – so the photo is very appropriate in that way too!

A New Home for Lily

By Suzanne Woods Fisher & Mary Ann Kinsinger

The second novel in the charming Adventures of Lily Lapp series, A New Home for Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish with lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines the real-life stories of growing up Amish from Mary Ann Kinsinger and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With line illustrations throughout, this series is sure to capture the hearts of readers young and old.

Lily Lapp is moving with her family to Pennsylvania to join a new Amish community. In this small town where changes – and newcomers – are greeted with suspicion, Lily must adjust to a new school, new friends and Aaron Yoder, an annoying boy who teases her relentlessly. Still, there are exciting new developments, including an attic full of adventure and a new baby brother. But why, Lily wonders, can’t God bring her just one sister?

Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture her warm memories of her childhood for her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog AmishAmerica and The New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The ChoiceThe WaitingThe SearchThe Keeper and The Haven, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. 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 Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award finalist. She is the host of internet radio show Amish Wisdom and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Praise for The Adventures of Lily Lapp series

“I didn’t want to stop reading it when I started. I liked Lily a lot and it was interesting to learn about her life as an Amish kid. It’s a lot different than mine. I think that was part of why I liked the book so much.”

– Christian Hope, age 10, Radiant Lit

“The simple prose focused on daily living will appeal to those who like realistic fiction that comforts.”

Publishers Weekly

“This is truly a gem”

–  Fiction Addict

Christian fiction

Book & Cover Review of "the Thorn" by Beverly Lewis

The Thorn (The Rose Trilogy, Book 1)
Book Review
The Thorn by Beverly Lewis, is book one of a much anticipated new Amish fiction trilogy, entitled the Rose Trilogy. Releasing today, September 7th, The Thorn is expected to rise quickly into the best seller list due to the author’s reputation is the top name in Amish fiction. And, after reading an advanced reader copy sent to me for review by Bethany House, I can see why!  Beverly Lewis continues to keep the Amish fiction genre fresh by interweaving complex character problems into a seemingly simple/plain cultural background.

What I found most intriguing about book one is that, unlike ‘the Shunning‘, her first Amish fiction novel – which has sold over one million copies – ‘the Thorn‘ actually tackles the issue of what would happen if someone who has left the Amish order for the life of the English wants to return to it?  Especially if they are married to an Englisher and have a child?

In previous Amish fiction I had read, it was always assumed that the person who left to be English would be shunned by even their closest family members, and therefore there was no opportunity to return.  This book certainly handles that in a different light, and is worth reading for that aspect alone.

However, one of the other main plots in this book deals with an Amish girl who is torn between caring for two very different men. The choice between living English or living Amish is there for her … but Rose has seen what that choice did to her sister Hen’s life, and she knows that her sister is struggling to live in the gap in between the two lifestyles.

Is that even possible? This book is the first book of a trilogy that seems to tackle that topic head on. If you love Amish fiction, this book is a ‘must read’.  There are enough twists to keep you reading, but overall it is a peaceful read, full of details about living Amish and the peaceful simplicity of a faith filled with tradition and the importance of family.

Book Cover Review
It’s a little harder to give a review on the cover this time.  The advanced reader copy only gives me a glimpse of the front cover, however, it appears to be a very typical cover for a piece of Amish fiction.  The large image of the young woman, sporting Amish dress and head coverings will certainly draw any readers who are already Amish fiction readers, or anyone who has always been curious about the Amish.  Beverly Lewis is perhaps the best known Amish fiction writer there is – so the choice to show her name even larger than the title of the book itself is no surprise. Very little of the background is showing, but it appears to be an open field of either tall grasses or wheat beneath a cloudy blue sky.  An antique treatment has been applied to the background – helping to give the novel the look of an instant classic.

The only negative I will state about this cover is the fact that it is instantly forgettable – there is nothing about it that will stand out in a reader’s memory.  If you were unable to remember the title of the book there is nothing on the cover that will make it stand out from any other piece of Amish fiction. If there had been a way to work a thorn photo, or a thorn-like embellishment into the cover … I think that would have made the cover more customized, and possibly more memorable, even if handled in a subtle way.

* Advanced Reader Copy received for review from Bethany House Publishers.