Monday, September 6, 2010
Running Around (And Such) by Linda Byler Review
It isn't that Lizzie doesn't want to stay Amish. It's just that there is so much to figure out.Like why can't she let her hair a little looser on top? And why can't she wear shoes with a little bit more of a heel? And will she ever really just know for a fact who she is going to marry like her next-older sister, Emma, does? And how does it happen that her just-younger sister, Mandy, is going on a date before Lizzie ever has a real one?
So does it matter at all if she eats one more whoopie pie? Amos seems to like her a lot when she pounds out the ping-pong games. He even asks her to be his partner in doubles. But then he asks Ruthie if he can take her home!
It has been this way Lizzie's whole life. She has too hot a temper. She hates housework and dislikes babies. She loves driving fast horses but is petrified of going away from home for a week to work as a maud (maid).
Now that Lizzie is running around, will she scare off the Amish boys with her hi-jinks manners? She has certainly attracted the attention of the egg-truck driver. A scary thrill runs through her every time the worldly man comes to pick up an order, each time extending his stay a little longer. How long will she keep this a secret from Emma-and from Mamm and Datt?
What will become of Lizzie? Is she too spirited, too innocent, and almost too uninhibited for a young Amish woman?
My take: "Running Around" is sweet story about an Amish girl coming of age. The story gives an adequate snapshot of life in an Amish community. Also interesting is the contrast between Amish and Mennonite and how they interact and differentiate from one another.
Although different in many aspects, the author has created a character with many of the same concerns as many teenagers outside the Amish community. Like most 16 year old girls, Lizzie worries about her hair, her fashions, weight gain, and boys. At the same time, Byler has educated the reader and dispelled myths regarding the Amish people.
I would recommend this book to girls between the ages of 10 and 12.
3 and half stars