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Ellie, New Edition: Book One (Ellie's…
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Ellie, New Edition: Book One (Ellie's People, Book One) (edition 2014)

by Mary Christner Borntrager (Author)

Series: Ellie's People (1)

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217196,071 (3.88)None
Ellie Maust, an Old Order Amish girl growing up in the early 1900s, wishes she could wear bright dresses like her English friend, Missy, and face cream and perfume like their fancy Amish hired girl, Susie Glick. As Ellie helps to care for the new babies in her family, milks cows, and learns to can and garden, she strains against her father's strict ideas and wonders what her future will hold. Along the way, she has adventures, including a sleepover at her English friend's house and a runaway buggy ride. When Ellie's family moves to a new farm, she must take on even more chores and responsibility for her younger siblings. But attending Sunday night singings with the young people in her community and beginning a courtship with kind, gentle David Eash fill Ellie's days with contentment. When tragedy strikes her family, Ellie must find a way to go on. Finding comfort in her Amish faith and her community, Ellie blossoms into a young woman who dedicates her future plans to God. Book 1 of the Ellie's People: An Amish Family Saga series. Ages 10 and up. The ten books of the Ellie's People series, beloved classics among young and old readers in Amish and Mennonite communities, are now available for today's reader. Author Mary Christner Borntrager grew up Amish and based her novels on events in her Amish childhood. Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series will love learning to know spunky Ellie and her friends and family.… (more)
Member:SLBCME
Title:Ellie, New Edition: Book One (Ellie's People, Book One)
Authors:Mary Christner Borntrager (Author)
Info:Herald Press (2014), 193 pages
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Ellie by Mary Christner Borntrager

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This isn't the first time I've read this book, but my fascination with the Amish means I occasionally read such books over again, just for fun.

This isn't a very challenging book even by YA standards, but I have to commend it for giving a curious people an insider's view on what it is to be Amish. Not many books bother with that, instead looking upon the Amish from the view of an outsider only.

That being said, though, the book does have a few problems. Aside from various typos that slipped into the final publication ("forbidden fruity"), the story doesn't have much in the way of pacing. The main character, Ellie, goes from being six to sixteen to somewhere in her twenties, and half the time there's absolutely no indication that she's changed in age until a character mentions it in thought. This means that sometimes I'm not sure whether Ellie is a child or going through puberty sometimes, and believe me the style of writing doesn't make it easy to tell just from character viewpoint alone.

Though I must say, it is better handled overall than some of the later books in the series. The first book of the author's that I read was Sarah, and while it too suffered from problems of pacing and timeline, it also suffered from an overabundance of pointless Pennsylvania Deutsch words. Ellie has a smattering of them and they're explained decently, but in Sarah, the author seems compelled to remind us about every ten pages or so that maut means "hired girl." Really, Mrs. Borntrager, we all had it figured out after the first few chapters.

The non-Amish are not protrayed in a very good light, either. We see Ellie's childhood friend Missy all grown up near the end of the book, the person Ellie used to admire very much for her conveniences and pretty clothes and all that. Missy has two children of her own whom she treats rather shabbily, the kids themselves seem like brats, Missy smokes, and her husband is absent because he's in the army. Missy becomes the epitome of everything that isn't Amish, and it's clear from the portrayal which person, and thus lifestyle, the reader is supposed to think of as the better one.

Still, in spite of its problems, this book was an interesting read, seeing a young and willful Amish girl grow up and fall in love and get married, finally content in her lifestyle despite the temptations of the outside world. Combined with Sarah (the only two books in the series I've read, though I'd love to read the others if I can ever find them), I think this series reveals more about the life and worldviews of the author than anything else, and that can be as fascinating as the book itself. ( )
  Bibliotropic | Jun 7, 2010 |
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Ellie Maust, an Old Order Amish girl growing up in the early 1900s, wishes she could wear bright dresses like her English friend, Missy, and face cream and perfume like their fancy Amish hired girl, Susie Glick. As Ellie helps to care for the new babies in her family, milks cows, and learns to can and garden, she strains against her father's strict ideas and wonders what her future will hold. Along the way, she has adventures, including a sleepover at her English friend's house and a runaway buggy ride. When Ellie's family moves to a new farm, she must take on even more chores and responsibility for her younger siblings. But attending Sunday night singings with the young people in her community and beginning a courtship with kind, gentle David Eash fill Ellie's days with contentment. When tragedy strikes her family, Ellie must find a way to go on. Finding comfort in her Amish faith and her community, Ellie blossoms into a young woman who dedicates her future plans to God. Book 1 of the Ellie's People: An Amish Family Saga series. Ages 10 and up. The ten books of the Ellie's People series, beloved classics among young and old readers in Amish and Mennonite communities, are now available for today's reader. Author Mary Christner Borntrager grew up Amish and based her novels on events in her Amish childhood. Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series will love learning to know spunky Ellie and her friends and family.

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