Tag Archives: juvenile fiction

Book Review: A Big Year For Lily

20 Jul

721343_w185Lily Lapp’s family has settled into their new home in Pennsylvania, but life still holds big changes and big steps for Lily. Good changes, like once again living close to her beloved cousin and best friend, Hannah. Bad changes, like a mean girl who plays tricks on her. And no change at all where Lily would most want one–Aaron Yoder sits near her in school and relentlessly teases her. Surprises are in store for Lily as she learns, with Mama and Papa’s help, to manage the ups and downs of growing up Amish.

The third of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, A Big Year for Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish–and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines Mary Ann Kinsinger’s real-life stories of growing up Amish and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With charming line drawings in each book, this series captures the hearts of readers young and old.

Purchase a copy here.

Learn more about the series, play games and download the coloring sheets at the Lily website.


SFisher-96Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Inn at Eagle Hill series, Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including “Amish Peace.” She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children’s series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. 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 Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher. Get Amish proverbs delivered right to your mobile device! Download the Free App! http://bit.ly/10Tygyi

My Impressions:

If you are looking for a good chapter book for your daughter or special young girl in your life, A Big Year For Lily, book 3 in The Adventures of Lily Lapp series by Suzanne Woods Fisher, fits the bill. Lily is an adorable character — funny, mischievous and clueless as to the ways of grownups. Her life is plain, but full of fun and adventure set among the Amish community of Pennsylvania. A great book for your young reader or for family reading time.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an excellent writer who has made a name for herself with her adult novels set among the Amish. Her collaboration with Mary Ann Kinsinger, who grew up Amish, has resulted in a series featuring Lily Lapp, now 10 years old, navigating the time between little girl concerns and grownup girl situations. Lily encounters all the problems of an English child — relationships with friends and family, sibling problems, and schoolroom drama. But the added twist of the Amish life makes this book a discovery of different cultures and attitudes towards life. I highly recommend this book and the series! (To read my review of book 1, Life With Lily, click HERE.)

Highly Recommended.

(Thanks to LitFuse for a copy of A Big Year For Lily for review. the opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To read other reviews, click HERE.


sd1d01_lilys_marble_cake_lgTaste of A Big Year For Lily:

Lily wanted to make a special cake for Mama’s birthday. Here is a recipe for a Marble Cake that hopefully will turn out better than Lily’s — Lily’s Marble Cake.

Book Review: Cake

13 Feb

733331_w185More than frosting filled those cakes… Wilma Sue seems destined to go from one foster home to the next—until she is sent to live with sisters and missionaries, Ruth and Naomi. Do they really care about Wilma Sue, or are they just looking for a Cinderella-style farmhand to help raise chickens and bake cakes? As Wilma Sue adjusts to her new surroundings and helps deliver ‘special’ cakes, Wilma Sue realizes there’s something strange going on. She starts looking for secret ingredients, and along the way she makes a new friend, Penny. When Penny and her mother hit a rough patch, Naomi decides to make her own version of cake—with disastrous results. Then tragedy strikes the chickens, and all fingers point to Wilma Sue—just when she was starting to believe she could at last find a permanent home with Ruth and Naomi. Will the sisters turn her out, or will she discover what it feels like to be truly loved?

ReturnImage.aspxJoyce Magnin is the author of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, chosen as one of the “Top 5 Best Christian Fiction Books of 2009” by Library Journal. She’s written several short fiction and personal experience articles. She co-authored the book, Linked to Someone in Pain. She has been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children. Joyce attended Bryn Mawr College and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship. She is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups. She has three children, Rebekah, Emily, and Adam; one grandson, Lemuel Earnest; one son-in-law, Joshua, and a neurotic parakeet. Joyce leads a small fiction group called StoryCrafters. She enjoys baseball, football, cream soda, and needle arts but not elevators. She currently lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow Book Spotlight

Review of Charlotte Figg Takes over Paradise

My Impressions:

I have read and enjoyed 2 adult novels by Joyce Magnin. Her quirky characters are part of the attraction for me. That and her humor. So when I was given the opportunity to review a middle reader book by her, I thought sure, why not. What I found was a really good book with humor, insight and a wonderful faith message. Cake: Love, Chickens And A Taste of Peculiar is a book I would recommend to everyone!

Wilma Sue is an orphan. Her mother dropped her on the doorstep of the Daylily Home for Unwanted and Misunderstood Children (Wilma Sue’s label) when she was just 17 days old. Wilma Sue has had her share of feeling unwanted, unloved and rejected during her 12 years. But now she has landed in the slightly odd and very unpredictable home  of Naomi and Ruth, sisters and retired missionaries to Malawi. What goes on in Gray House is anything but normal — birds and fireworks fly out of cakes, arthritic men stand a little straighter, a woman with a case of the gossips begins to talk of other things, and Wilma Sue finally feels like she has found a home. Wilma Sue learns that the best thing to do is not just get along, but to give and in turn receive love.

Cake is the perfect book for a family read along. There is a lot of truth among the stories of taking care of chickens and baking cakes. There are also some wonderful and of course quirky characters. Magnin’s humor also shines through, especially in her naming and descriptions of the characters. Who couldn’t feel a bit wary of a child named Penelope Pigsworthy or in awe of an opera singer named Ramona Von Tickle? There are also a lot of interesting tidbits to discuss along the way — from the country of Malawi to the care and feeding of chickens to the great classic Beowulf. Yes, all that and a lot of fun. My only complaint is that I had a readers copy that did not include the illustrations of the goings on within the book. From the cover illustration, I can imagine they add a great deal to the telling of the story.

So if you are looking for a book for your 9 – 12 year old children or grandchildren, get a copy of Cake, and then schedule some family time for reading fun.

Highly Recommended.

To purchase Cake, click on the image below.

(I received Cake from DJCCommunications in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)