Monday, September 17, 2012

A World Away by Nancy Grossman - OPTIONAL

Grossman, Nancy, A World Away. Hyperion, 2012. Pgs. 394. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: PG

Sixteen-year-old, Eliza Miller is Amish. She has never seen a tv, a computer, played on the internet, or even seen a movie. Teens her ages, when they turn 16, are sent out into the world for a season in order to decide whether or not they want to join the Amish community. In Eliza’s case, her parents are reluctant to let her leave home to truly immerse herself in the non-Amish world. When a woman comes to experience a true Amish dinner, however, she offers Eliza a summer nanny job while she tries to finish a college paper she’s trying to write. Eliza’s mom is reluctant at first, but soon they both realize that Eliza is homesick for the world she’s never known. Soon Eliza finds herself experiencing the non-Amish world of movies, dates, music, tv, internet, and more, but she soon misses her family and the life she grew up in as well as the Amish boy, Daniel, who has had recently shown romantic interest in her.  Can she truly give up the only home and friends she’s ever known until her rumspringa summer or will she return home?

A touching, coming-of-age novel. The characters are well-developed and likable. The plot is slower-moving, but shows the reader with a real in-depth cultural experience while capturing the heart of a coming-of-age story. Readers who like realistic fiction, stories about teens who step out of their element, and coming-of-age stories will enjoy reading this book. MS, HS. OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

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