Arrow in the Sky
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Arrow in the Sky
Author: Rebecca Martin
Series: Amish Frontier Series, book 5
Major Themes: Amish, Arkansas, Rice, Great Depression, Ku Klux Klan, Family Read-Alouds, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, US History 1900-1950
Synopsis: The Yoder family, now living in Arkansas, are growing rice—but what will happen to them as the Great Depression gets bad?
It has been a few years since we finished reading the first four books in the Amish Frontier series. My older children didn’t like them well enough to want to read the other books, but my 10-year-old recently requested that I buy the books, and when it was his turn, a few weeks ago, to choose a read-aloud, he chose Arrow in the Sky. It was another interesting, though not extremely exciting, story about an Amish family pioneering in a new area.
In the fourth book, Paradise Valley, the Yoder family had moved to Mexico, but at the end of the book they decided they had to move back to the United States. Arrow in the Sky begins soon after that book ended, during the family’s first year in Arkansas, 1929. They were trying their hand at growing rice, and their entire crop was contracted to Mr. Strong. Mr. Strong kept talking about how bad the economy might get, but Joshua wasn’t too worried, because Father wasn’t.
When fall came and the rice crop was ready to harvest, Father decided they would use sickles and do the job by hand—and then it started to rain. Before they could finish the harvest, the stock market collapsed and the company who had been contracted to buy all their rice went bankrupt. Now what would the Yoders do—especially the oldest boys, who wanted to get married?
As the Great Depression grew worse, more and more people showed up at the Yoder’s, asking for food and shelter for the night. The family tried to help, even as they were starting their own school for their children. The children learned firsthand how racism affected some people, and about the realities of death. Life was not easy, but with God on their side and a loving family, life was still good.
Arrow in the Sky is a great, realistic story about an Amish family, and also about farm life during the Depression. It is a clean, gentle story, with many spiritual truths woven throughout it.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—8 – 12
Links to buy this book:
Keywords: Amish, Arkansas, Rice, Great Depression, Ku Klux Klan, Family Read-Alouds, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, US History 1900-1950