By Mary Ann Kinsinger & Suzanne Woods Fisher
Revell, $12.99, 288 pages
Life with Lily tracks the joys and sorrows, shenanigans and responsibilities of a young Amish girl living in Upstate New York. Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher’s character, Lily, is six years old and explores the world of school, chores, farming and fun through the eyes of her Old Order Amish upbringing, providing readers with refreshing perspectives on humdrum things like cars, parades, fridge light bulbs, and government officials. Despite the obvious differences, such as dress, lifestyle, and religion, children will still find Lily surprisingly relatable.
“Lily’s only disappointment with school was that she was the youngest child in the entire schoolhouse. Mandy Mast liked to point that fact out, often.”
The book is reminiscent of the Little House on the Prairie series, and has a heartwarming, homey feel. The family interactions are as refreshing as they are healthy, which is always good to see in children’s fiction. Unfortunately, the writing falls rather flat and there is a disappointingly small amount of dialogue; it’s mostly narrative. The book is also quite long for the intended audience, though it reads very well one chapter at a time. Despite its drawbacks, Life with Lily is a solid introduction to the Amish community for kids and offers a tantalizing glimpse into a world many secretly wish they could have a part of.
Reviewed by Andrea Klein