Review: Books by Baker Publishing Group, Life With Lily and A New Home for Lily

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 Once in a great while our family comes across a book that is just an instant hit!  And I don’t just mean books we enjoy, I mean books that will be read countless times and dare I say even passed down to my children’s children some day.  That’s what these two books that our family recieved for review , Life with Lily and A New Home for Lily from Baker Publishing Group, will be for our family.

Lily

 These beautiful books introduce us to the world of the Amish through the eyes of one darling little girl named Lily.  As we start the first book, Life with Lily, we meet her as a carefree little five year old who enjoys the things of life any five year old would.  Her loves include her parents, her brother, dolls, visiting her grandparents, and exploring her little family farm in upstate New York.  We follow Lily through many adventures and even some misadventures.  She’s a truly honest little girl at heart and you can’t just feel for her even when she finds herself, usually inadvertantly, in some sort of trouble.

My two boys were both absolutely enthralled with these books.  We chose to enjoy these books together as read alouds and am I ever grateful for them.  These books provided us with so many fantastic opportunities for discussion and learning.  There were great vocabularly words that came up that we were able to reasearch the meaning of.  For example in the first book, Life with Lily, Lily’s teacher Ellen is in an accident and spends several days unconcious. My boys didn’t understand what the world unconcious meant so we set about finding out!  But above that these books gave us the opportunity to discuss concepts such as empathy.  We explored the idea of teasing and how to deal with it.  Lily found herself in more than a few compromising situations, such as when her not so friend Mandy Mast set part of the forest on fire.  Lily was the only one who knew that she did it.  This lead to a fabulous conversation of… “Do you think she handled that the right way? What might you have done in a similar situation?”  The life lessons we were able to discuss over these books were beyond priceless.  Such a fun, nonconfrontational way to instill values in my children.  I can’t say enough about this.

These books also give you a wonderful glimpse in the Amish way of life.  We learned of how many every day chores are accomplished, how the Amish worship, and how they interact with each other and those outside of their community.  There are so many similarities between their world and ours it is fascinating.

During the time we were reading these books Lily literally became part of our family!  If we went to the park I heard… “Can we take Lily?”  When it was time to get ready for bed it was… “Do we have time for Lily?”  All throughout the day they would ask… “When will get some Lily time?”  Both of them started rereading the books on their own time.  They couldn’t get enough!

Toward the end of the first book Lily is now seven years old.  Her school is short a teacher and her community is changing.  Her family is contemplating moving on to a new home.  Lily is devastated of course!  She doesn’t want to loose her friends, her home, or move away from her beloved grandparents.  The second book, a New Home for Lily begins in Pennsylvania where the family is settling into a new home.  Her adventures continue and are just as enthralling for children as the first.  We learn more about the relationships in Lily’s life as well as the daily happenings in the Amish community!  We are introduced to her Aunt and Uncle for the first time as they too move nearby.

The author, Mary Ann Kinsinger grew up in the Amish community and it shows.  Her writing shows the depth I bet only a person who has experienced the life she is writing about can deliver.  She no longer lives among the Amish but she does blog about her life today at A Joyful Chaos.

Author Suzanne Woods Fisher has written many titles about Amish life.  You can find her on her web-site Susannewoodsfisher.com.

Life with Lily and A New Home for Lily from Baker Publishing Group retail for $12.99 each and can be purchased in either paperback or e-book.  Recommended for ages 8-12 though both of my boys (ages 5 and 7) clearly adored these books.  We cannot wait to get our hands on the next books in this faboulous series!

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