“School’s Out! Rachel Yoder — Always Trouble Somewhere” by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Read by Ellen Grafton
c.2009, Brilliance Audio $14.99 / $20.95 Canada
3 CDs / just over 3 hours
Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm Sez
From the second you step foot outside the door at the end of the school year, you know the next first-day-of-school will arrive again eventually.
Part of the summer, you groan just thinking about it. But — admit it — sometimes, you get a little excited about that first day and all the new things you’ll see and do.
Right about now, at back-to-school time, summer’s only a memory. Was it a good one?
In the new book “School’s Out! Rachel Yoder — Always Trouble Somewhere” by Wanda E. Brunstetter, summer isn’t long enough for one little girl, but you can bet she packed a lot into the one she had!
What good is vacation when it rains all the time? Nine-year-old Rachel Yoder wondered that as she glumly looked out the window at the soggy Pennsylvania countryside. Summer is for picnics and fun, not for rain and chores.
Rachel’s summer started out a-hopping. She found two frogs down by the creek and she caught them, thinking she could race them after church on Sunday. But when the frogs’ box accidentally fell open right in the middle of service, Rachel knew she was in big trouble.
It seemed, in fact, that trouble followed her all summer long. When visiting a neighbor with Mom, Rachel got stuck in a storm cellar with a cat and her kittens. She felt badly about the stir she caused, but it turned out well when the neighbor gave Rachel her own bussli. She named the kitten Cuddles and even though Mom said the cat had to sleep in the barn, it always found a way to snooze in Rachel’s bed.
Then there was the skateboard — three skateboards! — that Rachel got for her birthday. And the times when the goose chased her and bit her legs. And the day Pap’s barn burned and the entire family had to save the animals. And then there was the runaway buggy ride: Rachel was resting inside the buggy when the horse bolted and she couldn’t make him stop. Jacob, Rachel’s brother, got the horse to whoa and he didn’t even call Rachel a bensel for getting scared. That was when Rachel realized that Jacob wasn’t such a bad brother.
Turns out, she’d had a pretty good summer after all.
Has your child raced through the “Little House on the Prairie” series a time or three? If so, try “School’s Out!” — it strongly reminded me of that classic series.
Author Wanda E. Brunstetter has Mennonite family members and Amish friends, so she has close knowledge of Amish ways. That makes this story — and all the Rachel Yoder books — as authentic as possible, right down to the Pennsylvania Dutch language. I loved the rascally Rachel and her brothers and sister, and I think it’s going to be nice to watch as the family evolves in future books.
For kids (probably more so girls) ages 7 to 12 and for any grown-up who longs for the good old days, this audiobook will be a great back-to-school treat. “School’s Out!” is definitely in.
Contact Terri Schlichenmeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.