post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Samuel’s Choice
Author: Anne Hilty
Series: The Great Book Series book 3
Major Themes: Amish, Mennonites, Ephrata Cloister, Martyrs Mirror, Pennsylvania, Lancaster County, Picture Books, Christian Non-fiction, American Revolution
Synopsis: This beautifully-illustrated, hardcover book tells the story of the Amish and Mennonites during the American Revolution, and the ultimate fate of the Martyrs Mirror.
We have been reading a lot of books about the American Revolution in the past six or eight months. We began our study by reading a couple of books from an Amish/Mennonite perspective, such as Loyalty Test and A Drop of Mercy, and now we’re wrapping up our study by reading some more. Samuel’s Choice describes the hardships that the peace churches experienced during those turbulent times.
Samuel’s family was eating their evening meal when a soldier came to the door. Father was required to join the militia—or pay a hefty fine. What would he do? A few days later, Samuel was shocked to see soldiers tearing down his family’s fences—and stealing their food and their livestock. When he ran to the nearby Ephrata Cloister for help to fight them off, Brother Peter reminded Samuel of the way of peace, and of how their Anabaptist ancestors had responded to persecution.
Soon, the war came even closer to home. Samuel found himself helping to care for injured and sick soldiers after a battle. He learned even more about the way to repay people for the evil they did to him. And then…the war was finally over, and one day Samuel’s family heard exciting news! Some of the Martyr Books that had been stolen from the Ephrata Cloister early in the war were available for someone to buy!
As with the other two books in the Great Book Series, Samuel’s Choice is a gorgeous volume. It has a quality hardcover binding, and is profusely illustrated with beautiful, real-life oil paintings. Not only does this book have a valuable message for our children, it is also a beautiful addition to our bookshelf.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12
Links to buy this book:
Keywords: Amish, Mennonites, Ephrata Cloister, Martyrs Mirror, Pennsylvania, Lancaster County, Picture Books, Christian Non-fiction, American Revolution