post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Hidden Riches
Author: H. Romaine Stauffer
Major Themes: Colonial America, Germany, Immigrants, Mennonites, Pennsylvania
Synopsis: Young Christian’s family made the difficult decision to move from Germany to Pennsylvania in the 1750s, searching for freedom to serve God in peace.
Back when I was eight or nine years old, and already a confirmed bookworm, my parents gave me Hidden Riches for my birthday. There were not nearly as many books of historical fiction available then as there are now, and I loved this one. It is based on a true story, with enough added to make the story flow well.
Christian was just six years old, and in charge of herding the family’s goats, when his father started talking about moving the family from Germany to Pennsylvania to get away from the constant wars that went on around them. What an exciting idea for the young boy and his brothers! When a friend who was already in Pennsylvania offered his help to get them to the new land, they began selling possessions and preparing for the journey. And then, Father died, just weeks before the date set for leaving their village. What should the family do now?
As he was dying, Father requested Mother to take their children to the New World, so they could worship God freely. Bravely, she set out with her three sons and two daughters. They faced hunger and filth, as well as storms and sickness that tested their endurance to the limit. Were the hardships worth facing? Would they regret having set out on this journey? And how could they pay for their fare when the voyage was over?
Hidden Riches is an amazing account of one family’s journey as they searched for a place of freedom and peace. As you read it, you will be challenged, and your faith will grow. This story is based on what is known of the author’s ancestors, and her historical note gives the information we know about them. As a side note, I enjoyed the details about Philadelphia in 1754. The State House and the Liberty Bell are described, as well as places such as Germantown and Lancaster County. This book is a good addition to a study of Colonial America.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15
Links to buy Hidden Riches:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Keywords: Colonial America, Germany, Immigrants, Mennonites, Pennsylvania