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School's Out: Rachel Yoder - Always Trouble Somewhere Review by Lyria Moore

By Wanda Brunstetter
Barbour Publishing
1810 Barbour Drive
Uhrichsville, OH 44683

Have you ever seen one of those families that drive in buggies pulled by horses? Have you seen some girls and women wearing white caps on their heads and long dresses all the time? Have you ever wondered what their lives were really like? Wanda Brunstetter makes the Amish life come alive and wipes away the cobwebs of mystery that sometimes shroud this group of people. Her love of the Amish transfers into an engaging readable style of writing that draws you into the life of one little Amish girl, Rachel Yoder. To the fascination of young girls everywhere, a little Amish girl doesn't seem so strange anymore. By reading about her exploits, they find out she's a lot like them.

School's Out opens with Rachel getting in trouble on her way to a family picnic celebrating the last day of the school year. This is just the first of many little escapades Rachel finds herself in. Rachel has older siblings that try to help her make better decisions, but one of them always seems to have fun at her expense, her brother Jacob. Rachel and Jacob seem to always get into fights and arguments. He never seems to understand or like her. Her parents always seem to take his side in an argument too. Rachel feels that being a little girl is very hard. It's especially hard to stay out of trouble. In the end, though, she realizes Jacob really does love her and cares very much about her.

This is a charming and highly entertaining chapter book for a young reader. It's recommended for children between the ages of 8 and 12. Rachel herself is nine; Jacob is twelve, and they have an older sister named Esther as well as an older brother named Henry. The story seemed too long and drawn out for an adult to enjoy reading, but it would be perfect for younger children. This story provides a glimpse of what it's like to grow up Amish. It's a wonderful tale that every young girl, and possibly a few boys, will enjoy curling up with.

Product review by Lyria Moore, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2009