Friday, September 2, 2011

Book review: Amish Values for Your Family

"What does a teacher do with thirty-six 'You're #1!' stickers?" That's the question one Amish teacher posed in Suzanne Woods Fisher's new book, Amish Values for Your Family: What We Can Learn from the Simple Life. While we like children to feel special, the Amish would rather emphasize God's unconditional love over temporary admiration. Contrast this with our efforts to elevate all children (such as "Everyone's a winner" team sports) hoping to avoid hurt feelings and low self-esteem. Now, with the help of this book, we can learn from the Amish's deep-rooted values that have stood the test of time.

In the same chapter, Fisher highlighted the sense of community surrounding the Amish schoolhouse. Pupils learn to be team players with their classmates as well as with their parents. The one-room school reinforces the values, relationships, and culture that separate Amish children from the outside world, our world.

Along those lines, the author challenges us to get involved in our children's education. Boy, does this hit home. While I'm involved in our son's education (and PTO to some degree), I try to stay clear of the classroom. I pride myself on being a "send-in" mom who would rather donate items than work directly with the children. A few days ago at back-to-school night, our son's new teacher mentioned classroom volunteers. Our son leaned over to say "Maybe you should do that". Normally I would dismiss it, but this book has me thinking. Perhaps our son's desire to interact with me in the classroom trumps the uncomfortable feeling and lack of skills I might exhibit. And if this isn't the time to build those relationships, then when?

Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don't have to "go Amish" to incorporate many of their principles--simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily-- into your life. If you are looking for a back-to-basics, simple approach to a meaningful life, I highly recommend Amish Values for Your Family.

To celebrate the release of Amish Values for Your Family, Suzanne has teamed up with her publisher Revell Books to give away a Kindle, and with Bill Coleman (the amazing photographer used on Suzanne’s book covers) to give away a signed Bill Coleman original.

One Grand Prize winner will receive an Amish Values Prize Package (valued at over $200) and includes:

* A brand new KINDLE
* A Signed Bill Coleman original
* Amish Values for Your Family (for KINDLE)

Click on one of the icons to enter. Winner will be announced on 9/2 at Suzanne’s blog. Be sure to stop by the blogs on Suzanne’s blog tour – many have copies of Amish Values for Your Family to give away.

But, wait there's more! Suzanne is running a Bill Coleman caption contest during the month of August on her blog. Title one of Bill’s gorgeous photos for a chance to win a print from Bill’s Amish Photo site and/or a copy of Amish Values for Your Family.

Suzanne can be found on-line at:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for posting a review on my blog. For more information on this book tour and its sponsor, visit

1 comment:

BleedingTulip said...

Sounds like an interesting book. Orthodoxy has similar philosophies of simplicity, and valuing God's love over "everybody's a winner". I'll have to check it out :)

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