I’ve had the opportunity these last few weeks to review two paperback fiction books from Baker Publishing Group as part of the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. I received Life with Lily and A New Home for Lily, both written by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher. Written for ages 8-12 and chronicling the life of Lily Lapp, an Amish girl, Life with Lily and A New Home for Lily are books one and two in The Adventures of Lily Lapp series.
These books tell the stories of Lily’s home, school, and friends. Lily deals with choosing good friends, annoying boys, and adjustments with moving and new siblings and wishing for a sister. I really appreciated the stance taken – that while we can’t control life, we can use self-control and make Godly decisions in life. We can choose contentment and learn from mistakes. Lily isn’t perfect – she’s pretty easy to relate to! While they weren’t quite thrilling page-turners for me, when I finished the books and handed them over to Liberty, age 9, and then she finished them and gave it to Eden, age 8, they found both books to be precisely that: thrilling. Amish fiction is pretty popular in our house and I knew, from the moment I saw the info on these books, that the girls were going to love them. We weren’t disappointed.
Liberty, my less-than-enthusiastic reader, read about Lily every chance she got. She finished Life with Lily in less than a week and jumped into A New Home for Lily, finishing the second book in about a week. As a child who doesn’t choose reading as her favorite pastime, this was pretty impressive. Eden, on the other hand, reads every waking moment she can get away with it, and finished Life with Lily in just a few days. She’s just started A New Home for Lily. Both of the girls loved the first book and conversations have centered around Lily, the Amish, and parts of these books for a week now. I got a few questions on culture things – there were a few terms they just didn’t understand – but as a whole, Life with Lily and A New Home for Lily were great books for the girls at their ages. There wasn’t anything objectionable to me in either book. At one point, in Life with Lily, a pow-wow doctor was mentioned, but only in an appropriate light for what we believe – the characters were objecting to the use of one. This sparked a small discussion, but nothing major.
I read both books first, then had Liberty and Eden read them. We’ll definitely look for more books by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher – including the additions to this series due in coming months. I hadn’t heard of Baker Publishing itself before, but upon investigation, I found Bethany House and Revell – both of which I had been familiar – are divisions on Baker Publishing Group. I, and my children, have enjoyed many books from these publishers. I was glad to find a complete publishing group that I can be confident in – books that I can be certain are Biblically based and quality materials for my girls.
The cover art work is engaging and colorful. Both of my girls, separately, commented on how pretty Lily is on the covers. I know a book ought not be judged by the cover, but this one is spot on and made my girls want to read Lily’s story. I have to compliment Smartt Guys Design and Dan Davis Photography, credited with the cover design and cover photo. They are beautiful.
Life with Lily has 288 pages and is listed for $12.99 for either e-book or paperback and there is a list of retailers available here. A New Home for Lily has 272 pages and the list of retailers is available here in e-book or paperback for a listed price of $12.99.
To read what others on the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about Life with Lily and A New Home for Lily, visit this blog post on the Review Crew Blog.