The Adventures of Lily Lapp book series {TOS review}

I’m not sure why, but I have always had a fascination with the Amish community. I think most of it is based on their simplicity of living and their strong sense of family. This has led me to read through many books about the culture that has helped me become somewhat familiar with the lifestyle of the people. Most of the books I have read have been fiction and from an adult perspective.

When we had the opportunity to review the first two books in paperback, Life with Lily and A New Home for Lily, from The Adventures of Lily Lapp series by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher, I knew this would be a good opportunity for my daughter to read and learn about the culture too. The series is published by the Baker Publishing Group.

My daughter Lily loves to read and it was a bit amusing to me for her to read a book with the main character having the name of Lily. Another attraction to the story was that the series is written from the perspective of a little girl who is near my daughter’s age.

The series takes place on an Amish farm in upstate New York. We meet Lily’s family – Papa, Mama, her brother Joseph and her new brother, Dannie, whom Lily’s describes as “the ugliest little baby.” That remark is often heard from a child upon the arrival of a new baby in the family. Although she is Amish, Lily is also a little girl, just like so many – – fun, loving, curious and mischievous – – and that is something the audience may connect with while reading the books.

The chapters in Life with Lily are like short stories that tell you bits and pieces about Lily’s life, about growing up Amish and provide a good introduction to the main character who readers will continue to connect with throughout the series.

We get to read about Lily’s life – time spent with Papa and her helping Mama around the house; new experiences like getting a new teacher and moving to a new community (there is more about that in A New Home for Lily); and dealing with challenges that children go through like the antagonist Mandy Mast, who finds fun in acts like coercing Dannie into walking across a thistle in his bare feet. We get to see growth in Lily as she comes to Dannie’s rescue and defense at this incident.

Mary Ann Kinsinger, who grew up Old Order Amish in Pennsylvania, and Suzanne Woods provide good storytelling and offer insight into Amish life. There are great lessons of discipline throughout the books for my daughter Lily (and me), like when Joseph, Lily’s bother, gets upset at waiting for chocolate milk to be made and served. In his impatience, Joseph pulls the chair from under Mama, who is working on a sewing project, before she sits down sending her falling to the floor. Instead of getting very upset as I probably would have done, Lily’s mother stands, brushes herself off and states “I don’t think anyone will be getting chocolate milk today.” There is no yelling or spanking and discipline is reinforced when milk and cookies are later served, but not chocolate milk as was desired.

The Adventures of Lily Lapp series is written for children ages eight to 12 years-old. Although Lily is a six year-old girl, I would imagine that most girls around the ages of five to the early teens will find the book series of interest. They may be fascinated by the lifestyle that Lily leads and have a sense of familiarity with her, because she is just a little girl.

My daughter, Lily, enjoyed reading through the books. When the selections arrived, she quickly finished reading the final chapters of another series that she was reading, so that she could begin reading about Lily. She found a quiet place and that is normally where I found her reading through the books, which became favorites. I was also excited for her, because I knew that she would be reading a story that was uplifting, positive and Christian-based. You may read more the mission statement of Baker Publishing Group.

If you have a little girl in your home, then sharing the books in The Adventures of Lily Lapp series as a quiet, independent read or read-a-loud may be a welcome addition to reading time in your home. Book three, A Big Year for Lily (due July 2013) and A Surprise for Lily (due September 2013) will be available later this year, which will be just in time for any reader to catch up in the series and learn more about Lily’s life.

Life with Lily (e-book or paperback) and A New Home for Lily (e-book or paperback) are available for $12.99.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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