Amish Frontier Series
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Amish Frontier Series
Author: Rebecca Martin
Major Themes: Amish, Colorado, Farming, Mexico, Montana, North Dakota
Synopsis: This series of books follows the Yoder family for 30 years, through four states and two countries.
As I have mentioned in a number of reviews, I don’t normally appreciate Amish fiction. Most books in that genre that I have read strike me as fake, using Dutchy words and expressions just for the cute/quaint factor. Also, most of them are written by people who don’t really know the Amish and their lifestyle. The Amish Frontier Series is different. Rebecca Martin is Old Order Mennonite, which is very similar to Amish, so she writes from experience. The stories are told very realistically, as if the characters are just leading normal lives—which they are!
This series follows one family through a number of years. The first book, Blossoms on the Roof, begins in 1894 when the Yoder family moves from Indiana to North Dakota during a depression. Ben and Polly are 10 and 8, and enjoy their new life on the Great Plains.
The Treasure Hunt takes place 16 years later. Polly and Ben are grown now, and their younger brother and sister, Joe and Lydia, are the main characters as the family moves to Colorado to find cheap land. Unfortunately, there is a good reason for the land to be cheap. Joe wants to find gold, and learns what the true treasure is.
A Song for the King begins where The Treasure Hunt leaves off. The Yoder family is still living in Colorado, but farming hasn’t worked out in that dry climate. The family is picking melons a hundred miles from home, living in tents. World War I has just broken out, and anyone who speaks German is suspect. After returning home from a summer of picking vegetables, the Yoders decide to move to Montana. Lydia and her nephews learn to get along with people who aren’t the same as they are.
Paradise Valley takes place from 1921 to 1925. The main characters in this book are Ben’s children, Hannah and Abner. Ben is opposed to the modern education that is coming to the local school, and eventually decides to move his family from Montana to Mexico. That, of course, presents his family with many unprecedented challenges. Can they maintain their nonresistant stand as the army and the rebels surround them?
Arrow in the Sky begins in 1929, after the Yoder family has moved to Arkansas. They are growing rice, but when the Great Depression begins, there is no market for their crop. What will they do? And school is still an issue; when the community starts their own school, will the local school board allow it to continue?
Though this series is not as gripping and exciting as many of the books we read, it is very worthwhile. The lessons taught are solidly based on Biblical values and teachings. The stories are very realistic; everything that happens could easily have happened in real life. These are good stories for children who love to read about pioneers or about the Amish.
Note: We have read four out of the six books in this series. Lord willing, we will be getting the other two books soon and when we do we will update this review with our thoughts on them as well.