Last April we had the privilege of traveling to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to visit some friends and see the sites. While were there my daughter enjoyed learning more about the Amish culture. Since she was so interested in the culture, my mom found the book Ellie by Mary Christner Borntrager for her as a part of her Christmas gifts. Ellie is the first book in the Ellie’s People Series.
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Ellie is also one of my daughter’s nicknames, so it seemed like a great book for her. In our hurricane relief efforts, our family has had the opportunity to meet and work with many different groups of Amish and Mennonite who have traveled to our church to help with the relief work. This has fueled my daughter’s interest in these unique cultures.
The author was born and raised Amish and uses the books to share the stories of her childhood and youth among the Amish people. Each book focuses on the story and life of one particular person (the namesake of that book) but also shares about others in the community. While these books are fiction, they include a lot of real information about the Amish culture and Mary Christner Brontrager’s childhood. My daughter even mentioned that, “I like how it uses a few words of Pennsylvania Dutch and then includes an English translation for those words.” In Ellie we learn about Amish weddings, funerals, and other customs through the eyes and experiences of Ellie.
After reading Ellie, she asked us about getting more books in that series. I was able to get a good deal on a collection of them and she read them rapidly. Reading late into the night and each morning before she got up. I loved that she found books that she enjoyed that much and that were also helping her learn and appreciate more about another culture.
Have you read Ellie before? What is your favorite ‘E’ book? I would love for you to share in the comments and let us know.
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