Book Beat - Amish Day!

For those of you (like me!), who haven't gotten a start on their Christmas shopping yet (hangs head in shame), I'm giving away two delightful books today!

The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer tells of Sarah Shelter, an Amish woman living in West Kootenai, Montana. Still grieving the death of her childhood best friend, Sarah keeps mementos in jars to remind herself of special moments. When Jathan Shrock comes to town, they discover a shared love of bakeries and baking. However, Sarah's love for baking "fancy" cupcakes isn't well received by Jathan's more traditional hometown, and Jathan is pressures him to take a factory job to support his family.

The Memory Jar is more than a sweet romance. Sarah and Jathan juggle the desires of family and community, their personal dreams, and following God's will. And Sarah also has important lessons to live about treasuring the past instead of dwelling in the past. Tricia Goyer's writing, as always, is engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

If you lament the lack of good Christian fiction for elementary-schoolers, you'll be thrilled by Life with Lily. Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger have started a new series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp, about an Amish girl, her little brother, and their new baby. Reminiscent of all the wonderful chapter books I enjoyed as a child, this book is a charmer. Based on Mary Ann Kunsinger's Amish childhood, each chapter tells funny, interesting, and adventuresome stories. And the simple pen and ink illustrations are darling. I would recommend this book for third-fifth graders to read on their own, and for kindergarten-second graders for reading aloud - or on their own if they're advanced readers.

Don't miss the amazing website for this series ( which has coloring pages, games, recipes, and an "Ask Lily" feature.

I have a copy of EACH of these books to give away! To enter the drawing, please leave a comment below telling what interests you about the Amish, which book you'd like to win (you can enter to win both), and your email address in the following format so I can contact you if you win - sarah[at]sarahsundin[dot]com. I'll announce the winners Monday, December 17.

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