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

Amish fiction, Christian fiction, cover design, Uncategorized

Book & Cover Review of "Still Life in Shadows" by Alice J. Wisler

Cover for book Still Life in Shadows

Book Review

Still life in Shadows is definitely a unique perspective on the Amish life. Among the many genres of Christian fiction that I read is Amish fiction. In most Amish fiction novels, their lifestyle is depicted as unyielding on the one extreme, but overall as an enjoyable simpler lifestyle. It is generalized frequently that the popularity of Amish fiction is due to readers using it as a form of escapism. Still Life in Shadows, however, shines a light on the fact that, just like every other lifestyle or religious choice available – there are people for whom an Amish lifestyle fits, and people for whom it does not. The main character, Gideon, has chosen to escape that lifestyle, and to help others escape from it. Additionally, the novel points out that anger and abuse can surface in even the most peaceful of societies – which is why Gideon made his choice to leave. The author also chose to cover the subtopics of autism and hoarding within the confines of this novel. All of these topics are handled with care and respect.

Unlike most Amish fiction novels I feel this one would appeal to both men and women. It isn’t an action novel, and there is a love story there, but it is handled in the male point of view and in a realistic manner (in other words, full of natural road blocks and confusion).

Book Cover Review

Even before I read the marketing copy I was intrigued by this cover. It is obvious by the choice of clothing on the main model that he is not Amish (or at least not anymore). And due to the grunge textures and choice to use black and white as the primary color scheme it has a rather dark and mysterious quality to the design. I also like the choice to use the bright red circle around the word ‘in’. As a potential reader it forced me to see that there were many potential directions to take the meaning of the title. (Or maybe that’s just me? LOL)

The one piece of the cover design I am not fond of is the checkerboard pattern above the black bar at the bottom of the cover. I think using a dusty/grungy speckled fade of some sort would have been more in keeping with the tone of both the rest of the cover design as well as with the book’s tone.

* This book was provided by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for review.

 

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingStill Life in ShadowsRiver North; New Edition edition (August 1, 2012)byAlice Wisler

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Alice was born in Osaka, Japan in the sixties.  Her parents were Presbyterian career missionaries. As a young child, Alice loved to walk down to the local stationer’s store to buy notebooks, pencils and scented erasers.  In her room, she created stories.  The desire to be a published famous author has never left her.  Well, two out of three isn’t bad. She’s the author of Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation (all published by Bethany House).

 

Alice went to Eastern Mennonite University after graduating from Canadian Academy, an international high school in Kobe, Japan. She majored in social work and has worked across the U.S. in that field.  She taught ESL (English as a Second Language) in Japan and at a refugee camp in the Philippines.  She also studied Spanish at a language institute in San Jose, Costa Rica.

 

She has four children–Rachel, Daniel, Benjamin and Elizabeth.  Daniel died on 2/2/97 from cancer treatments at the age of four. Since then, Alice founded Daniel’s House Publications in her son’s memory.  This organization reaches out to others who have also lost a child to death. In 2000 and 2003, Alice compiled recipes and memories of children across the world to publish two memorial cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

It’s been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a boy of fifteen.  Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic’s garage. He meets a host of interesting characters -the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the “Getaway Savior” he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in modern America.

 

One day the phone rings. On the other end is his brother Moriah calling from Florida. Of course Gideon welcomes his brother to stay with him and offers him a job. But Moriah is caught in a web which ends in his death and forces Gideon to return to the town of his youth, with his brother’s body in the back of a hearse and Mari and Kiki at his side. He must face not only the community he ran away from years ago but also his own web of bitterness. Will he be able to give his anger over to God and forgive his father?

 

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Still Life in Shadows, go HERE.

 

Christian fiction

Book & Cover Review of The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis

Book Review
Amy Lee or Amelia? Tired of living a double-life the main character finds just what she needs to make a few life altering decisions when she stumbles across an Amish community during a rain storm. Nothing like experiencing a completely different lifestyle to make you take stock of your own life! This is a beautiful story . . .  full of opposites: turmoil and harmony, classic and modern, Plain and English … yet it blends beautifully into one symphony-worthy story. The best Beverly Lewis novel I’ve read yet! Anyone who loves reading Amish fiction will enjoy this book – male or female. Beverly has made an unlikely situation seem to fall together in a completely believable way. The characters have realistic emotional struggles, and the story evolves with a natural flow. A wonderful bedtime read … except that I had to force myself to put it down.

Book Cover Review
Spoiler alert: This is a perfect cover for this book. It’s obvious that the young woman holding the fiddle is not Amish, that she is deep in thought, and sitting in the middle of Amish country. The dress and sweater they have on the female model is modern, slightly folksy feeling, yet also modest – a perfect fit for this character with one toe in the world of classical violin and the other in toe-tapping fiddle competitions. The young man at her side is obviously Amish by his dress, and with the look he is giving the female model it is obvious that he has feelings for her, AND that he has no problem with the fiddle/violin in her hands (music is not allowed beyond singing by the Amish). The focus of the cover is on these two young people – yet the third ‘character’ in this story is the Amish community that helps to develop and define both of these people and their future relationship – so I was glad to see a hint of Hickory Hollow in the background.

The Fiddler was released April 10, 2012 by Bethany House. I received a copy through the CFBA for review – the additional information below was provided by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.

This week, the  Christian Fiction Blog Alliance  is introducing  The Fiddler  Bethany House Publishers (April 10, 2012)  by  Beverly Lewis   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Beverly’s first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author’s maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly’s work to be “a primer on Lancaster County folklore” and offers “an insider’s view of Amish life.”

Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Beverly’s tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, “Beverly’s books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don’t run across writing like that every day. I hope she’ll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time.”

A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction “book worms.”     

ABOUT THE BOOK

Come home to Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania–the beloved setting where Beverly Lewis’s celebrated Amish novels began–with new characters and new stories of drama, romance, and the ties that draw people together.

A wrong turn in a rainstorm leads Englisher Amelia Devries to Michael Hostetler–and the young Amishman’s charming Old Order community of Hickory Hollow. Despite their very different backgrounds, Amelia and Michael both feel hemmed in by the expectations of others and struggle with how to find room for their own hopes. And what first seems to be a chance encounter might just change their lives forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Fiddler, go HERE.

Watch the book video: