post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Steamboat Rock
Author: Rebecca Martin
Series: Amish Frontier Series Book 6
Major Themes: Amish, Michigan, Conscientious Objectors, Historical Fiction
Synopsis: When her family moves to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Hettie wants badly to see a bear, but little does she know the challenges she and her family will face during the next few years.
We read the first four books in the Amish Frontier series a few years ago, and now that three more books have been published in the series, we are reading through them, at the request of my 11-year-old, who obviously enjoyed these stories! Steamboat Rock gives an interesting perspective on the home front during World War II.
The Yoder family has moved to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula now, after living in Arkansas in the last book. There is a lot to get used to here, but Hettie can’t wait to see her first bear. There are plenty of other things—snapping turtles the size of a washtub, shingle pigs that attack the garden, and mosquitoes—but no bears! Where are they? She keeps her eyes open while the family cares for their cows, works in the garden, and harvests the grain. Finally, she sees a bear—how does she react?
World War II has broken out. News filters into even the Amish community, through neighbors who have radios. What will happen to the Amish young men who are conscientiously opposed to war? Will they have to go to prison, as they did during the first World War? Joshua, who wants to get married, decides to go work in a lumber camp during the winter for some extra cash—is that really a wise decision, spiritually? You might be surprised by what happens to him there.
Steamboat Rock is an interesting glimpse into what life may have been life for an Amish family living in a sparsely-settled northern area, and it is a great way to teach children about what it means to be a Conscientious Objector to war. If you like to read stories about the Amish, this is a good one, written by someone in a similar church.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12
Links to buy this book:
Keywords: Amish, Michigan, Conscientious Objectors, Family Read-Alouds, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, World War II History, US History 1900-1950