Title: Blossoms on the Roof
Author: Rebecca Martin
Series: Amish Frontier series, book 1
Major Themes: Amish, North Dakota, Pioneers, Prairie
Synopsis: When they can’t make a living in Indiana, Ben and Polly’s family move to North Dakota to homestead.
I’ll begin by saying that I can’t stand most “Amish” books. Most of the Amish fiction that’s available is written by non-Amish writers who are trying to cash in on a popular market, because people like to read about the Amish lifestyle. I’ve read several of that kind of book, and frankly, a lot of them were hokey. Blossoms on the Roof is different, and the reason is that Rebecca Martin is Old Order Mennonite, which is very similar to Amish. She wrote this book specifically for children in that type of setting, rather than for the general public.
Blossoms on the Roof is the first book in a series about Amish pioneers. After we finished reading the 10 books in the Grandma’s Attic series, I wanted similar books to read to my 6-year-old (and the rest of the boys! They all listen in.). I had bought the Amish Frontier series a while ago, so decided to read them. This book is quite different from In Grandma’s Attic, but very good in a different way.
Polly is the main character in this book; she is 8 and loves to go to Grandma’s house with her 10-year-old brother Ben. Times are hard, though, in Indiana during the Depression of 1894, and the family has had to sell most of their animals to pay rent. Then Father hears about free land in North Dakota! The family packs up and goes there. Life is hard as they face drought, prairie fire, and blizzard, but they learn that God never lets them down.
This is a great book for children who love stories about pioneers. It is very true-to-life. There are no mysteries to solve, nothing over-dramatic, just real life. The children help their parents and learn to obey. We enjoyed the story and are looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12