Title: Little Pennsylvania Dutch Boy
Author: Sharon Schnupp Kuepfer
Major Themes: Conscientious Objectors, Pennsylvania, Virginia, World War II
Synopsis: Clair had to learn a lot about trusting God when his father had to go away to work as a conscientious objector rather than going to war.
I’ve had a bit of a hard time finding books suitable to read aloud to my sensitive 6-year-old boy. He doesn’t want to hear stories that have any fighting in them. One of the ones I recently bought with him in mind was Little Pennsylvania Dutch Boy, a story about Sharon Schnupp Kuepfer’s father when he was a little boy during World War II.
Clair was only seven years old when his father had to go away from the family. The United States was fighting in World War II, and Clair’s father was a conscientious objector. Because of that, when he was drafted, he had to go away from home to work on building a road in Virginia, while Clair and his mother, sister and brother stayed home in Pennsylvania. Mother struggled to make ends meet and keep her little family fed and clothed. Clair missed his father.
God provided in amazing ways for the family. One day, Clair badly wanted a treat they couldn’t afford, and God showed them a penny on the ground. Later, Daddy found a way for the family to live with him, and, somehow, their needs were always met. Young children will love these gentle stories of God’s love and provision.
One thing my younger boys loved about the book was the recipe at the end of each chapter, for one of Clair’s favorite foods. Some of the recipes are so simple my older boys chuckled at their being included, but some of them made everyone’s mouth water a bit. There are several facets to this book. One is the story of a Christian family who want to live in a way that pleases God. It’s also a glimpse into life on the home front during the war, and there is also a story running through it of a missionary to the Appalachian region and how God used tragedy to bring about His will.
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9