“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 Choice, The Waiting, The Search, The 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
Amanda Cabot’s second book in the Westward Winds series, “Waiting for Spring”, can be read as a wonderfully engaging stand-alone novel. I have not read the first book of this series and felt neither lost, nor unsatisfied.
Both the male and female leads are well-developed and unique characters I was both rooting for, and frustrated with for much of the book. (Will these two ever figure out they are meant for each other?)
Amanda has also brilliantly developed a bad guy you slowly love to hate. He starts off seeming only slightly untrustworthy … and eventually his true nature leaves you squirming with displeasure — earnestly turning pages to learn how his bad intentions will affect the hero and heroine.
A wonderful story — based in the early years of Cheyenne, Wyoming. It definitely makes it onto my favorites list for the year.
Book Cover Review
May I say that the dress steals the show on this cover? But … since the story is about a dress maker it totally works! The vibrant blue color draws attention, and the style of the dress establishes it is a historical set in the late 19th century. This cover will appeal more to women, but since that is the same target as the story, it is a great match.
One small factoid that I thought was fun about this cover design, is the fact that the title grouping is actually partially hidden behind the cover model’s shoulder. The designer was obviously aware the model and the dress ‘steal the show’ — they are purposely letting it, by giving the title grouping a secondary status in this design (though they did add a touch of gloss to balance it a little).
* This book was provided by the publisher with no guarantee of a positive review. Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Waiting for Spring By Amanda Cabot
Amanda Cabot explores themes of love, courage and sacrifice in the second book of the Westward Winds series. With an authentic backdrop of 1880s Wyoming, Cabot creates characters whose struggle to forge a life in the old West ultimately win your heart.
After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But when a notorious robber believes she knows the location of a long-lost treasure, she flees to Cheyenne and opens a dressmaker’s shop to lie low and make a living. When wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry enters the shop to visit her best customer Miriam, Charlotte feels drawn to him.
If Barrett is to be a senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming, he must make a sensible match, and Miriam has all the right connections. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future.
Soon the past comes to call, and Barrett’s plans crumble around him. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?
Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names and a popular speaker. The author of Paper Roses, Scattered Petals, Tomorrow’s Garden, and Summer of Promise, she is also a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the cofounder of its New Jersey chapter, a member of the ACFW, and an avid traveler. She lives in Wyoming.
Endorsements for Amanda Cabot and Waiting for Spring:
“One thing I know to expect when I open an Amanda Cabot novel is heart. She creates characters that tug at my heartstrings, storylines that make my heart smile, and a spiritual lesson that does my heart good. Her stories are like the first sweet scents of spring—pure pleasure.”—Kim Vogel Sawyer, bestselling author of My Heart Remembers
“From the first page I found myself rooting for the young widow, Charlotte, who’s trying to forge a life for herself in Cheyenne while also caring for a disabled son. My heart beat with worry as trouble from the past found her. And it pattered with hope as sweet Charlotte caught the eye of handsome Barrett. Amanda Cabot offers a delightful read, and as I turned the pages I was swept away with a story of love, courage, and sacrifice. Recommended!”—Tricia Goyer, bestselling author of 32 books, including Beyond Hope’s Valley
Cassandra Bainbridge is a heroine afraid of her own passions. Well, her emotional passions for a certain handsome fiancé anyway. A terrible injury leaves her feeling less than desirable and fearful that God is punishing her. Having not read book one , the leap to her feeling judged by God for a moment of passion seemed a little fast … and the mention that she had put her wedded bliss on hold once before (even though she really did love her fiancé) made her seem ‘flighty’ in more ways than one!
However, the fascination with independent balloon flight was very interesting. I enjoyed her exploits, and that the author made her a very curios and capable young woman, despite her injury. The trial and error of the early balloonist was something I had never read about before. Spoiler alert: Her fiance’s believable fear of heights helped to explain how this fascination was drawing them apart. The fact that it eventually saves his life and draws them together, was a very nice touch!
The writing was done well, and drew me in. I feel I enjoyed it as a stand alone once I’d read only a couple of chapters. I might have enjoyed it sooner if I’d read book one. Women readers will especially enjoy this independent and curios heroine.
Book Cover Review
By the cover alone I was able to determine not only that it was a historical, but that it was a Regency, that it was likely about a heroine of wealth, and that hot-air balloons were somehow involved. Since all three are a big part of the story I think this will be a successful cover – drawing exactly the readers that will enjoy it. I also love the font used for the title. Very elegant and befitting for this English lady of privilege. The area surrounding the author’s name is my least favorite part of the design, but that is being picky. I think it’s the mint green color that bothers me about it. It just seems to clash with the richer greens in the photo background. If the designer had color picked another color directly from the photo, either dark or light, I think it would have felt slightly more harmonious as a whole. I would have used this same color on the back cover as well. But as I said, overall I really like this cover, and that is being extremely picky. The artist has done a great job overall!
*Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
The additional information below was provided by the publisher:
A Flight of Fancy
The Daughters of Bainbridge House Series- #2
By Laurie Alice Eakes
Filled with the mystique of London society and the charming beauty of the English countryside, A Flight of Fancy explores what it means to find the true source of happiness and love amid the distractions of life. Readers will love the next installment in this rousing Regency series from accomplished author Laurie Alice Eakes.
Cassandra Bainbridge has twice set aside her scholarly pursuits–once for the London Season and once for her wedding preparations. Love seems a wonderful alternative to study, until disaster strikes. When an accident brings an end to her betrothal, she heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. There she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when her former fiancé slips back into her life, what course will she choose?
Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, A Necessary Deception, Heart’s Safe Passage, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.
Praise for Laurie Alice Eakes’s A Necessary Deception- #1 in The Daughters of Bainbridge House Series:
A marvelously well told adventure detailing the difficulties of British life for a woman during 1812 – and the faith that can be found in the trying times. – CBA Retailers & Resources
The first in Eakes’ Daughters of Bainbridge House series, this is a great Regency-era novel with characters who may not be who people think they are. These characters are lovable, caring and willing to let their tender sides show. – RT Reviews
Laurie Eakes whisks the reader into 1812 – London Society – into the Regency Era. It’s a world filled with drawing rooms, masquerade balls and a time when women were entréed into society in hopes of a marriage proposal. This author knows her stuff and brings historical richness to the story I adored. This was an intriguing story filled with mystery. I recommend this book to the historical minded and those who like a good mystery! – Nora St Laurent
Life with Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher is an endearing story, centering on the daily life of a little Amish girl named Lily Lapp and her family. The book is written for young children, – those just beyond picture-book age. I read the first few chapters aloud to my 6-year-old and 4-year-old daughters. My oldest was the most interested, as she is old enough to listen for longer spans of time and can picture the story in her mind. My youngest was more interested in seeing the photo at the beginning of each chapter, and I’m not sure how much she paid attention during the reading of the chapter.
My oldest child enjoyed it more. Her main comment was “she’s like a little girl that grew up a long time ago.” We’ve visited a historic village with our children in the last year, and I think she was picturing that village from ‘a long time ago’ when she was listening to me. (No electricity, lots of animals etc.) She was fascinated to learn about Lily, and through her what it was like
to be a little girl growing up Amish (much like it was to grow up a long time ago, but not quite).
The book is composed of 39 chapters, and each chapter can be read as an individual story. Each chapter builds upon the other into an over-arching story, but has a satisfying short storyline of its own. The stories involve Amish life, animal care, friendships, siblings, school, gardening and much more. They are told in such a way that the child learns about the Amish life, yet there are many things about the story that the child can still relate to.
A great read for ages 6 and up, particularly for girls.
Book Cover Review
The model chosen to represent Lily Lapp for the cover is adorable. Her smile is welcoming, and the red barn in the background will help to attract children interested in ‘farm’ or ‘animal’ stories. A beautiful sunny day, and the attractive child in what my young children saw as an odd dress-up outfit from a long time ago will intrigue them to hear or read the story for themselves.
The only negative I have about this cover is very knit-picky. The shadows used behind the title and some larger text areas is a little too difused. I wish it was a little sharper of a shadow to add depth, rather than to make the edges just seem fuzzy and undefined. But that is really looking close at it, and from afar it is not very noticeable. The cover will attract the kids and their parents or grandparents just fine the way it is.
* This book was received from the publisher for review. Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.