Prolific teen author Melody Carlson returns to her “contemporary teen meets Amish teen” novels. A Simple Song and My Amish Boyfriend are the latest books to join Double Take (reviewed by Christian Library Journal, November 2011).
A Simple Song opens with the funeral of Katrina’s grandmother, and Amish teenager Katrina Yoder discovers they were more alike than she realized. She loves to sing – just like her grandmother did. Katrina’s best friend is a big fan of American Star (a singing competition similar to American Idol) and helps her enter the competition to win money for her father’s surgery. She learns “free will has a price” and that participating in the American Star singing competition will cost her.
In My Amish Boyfriend, teenaged Shannon McNamara’s mother is very ill, too ill to take care of herself and Shannon. They travel to her mother’s estranged family in Ohio, and Shannon has no idea her grandparents are Amish. It leads to culture shock as she adjusts to a new way of life. Shannon tries to take care of her mother on her own, becoming her mother’s advocate in seeking treatment. She also experiences a romance with an Amish young man, making her consider whether she could fit into the Amish faith or not.
At the heart of each book is a teen struggling with her identity and where she fits in. Will Amish teenager Katrina leave behind her upbringing and family for fame offered on American Star, the singing competition? Will Shannon leave behind her contemporary world for the Amish way of life?
Carol R. Gehringer
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
–reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2014.