The Bookworm Sez 7-5-10 | TheFencePost.com

The Bookworm Sez 7-5-10

Terri Schlichenmeyer
LaCrosse, Wis.

What did you want most for your last birthday?

Did you want a new bike or the skateboard you saw at the store? Maybe you wanted clothes or a new game player, complete with that hot new game you’ve been dying to have. Perhaps you wanted something simple, like a one-day trip or vacation with your family.

And did you get what you wanted?

Rachel Yoder always manages to make her birthday dreams come true, even when it means trouble. But in the new audiobook “Just Plain Foolishness: Rachel Yoder – Always Trouble Somewhere” by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Rachel’s 11th birthday almost didn’t happen.

BANG! BANG! The hammers fell hard as the men worked on the greenhouse where Rachel Yoder’s grandpa would grow vegetables and flowers. It was the beginning of summer and Grandpa promised Rachel that she could help with his indoor crops. Maybe he’d let her sell some of the produce to tourists who traveled through their Amish countryside. Rachel was eager to lend a hand because working with Grandpa was no chore at all.

But there would be real chores, for sure, especially since Rachel’s mother was expecting a boppli. Rachel knew she should be happy about becoming a big sister, but babies were a lot of work. She hoped there would be time for her birthday celebration before the boppli arrived. Birthdays were a big deal for Rachel, and she’d asked her parents for a trip to Hershey Park. It was what Rachel wanted more than anything.

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On the morning of her 11th birthday, Rachel hopped out of bed and ran to the kitchen, but there was no sign of Mom or Pap. There were no presents on the table, either. Rachel ran to find Grandpa, and it was then that she got an awful surprise: her little sister was born on Rachel’s birthday!

For the rest of that day, and for weeks to come, it seemed that everybody was more concerned about Hannah, Rachel’s new schweschder. Not only did that baby mean more chores, but it seemed like everyone forgot about Rachel and her birthday, and that made Rachel very sad. Was she a little bensel for finding her own excitement?

These days, having the radio on in your vehicle while you commute with the kids can be a dicey thing. Even the oldies can be rated PG-13. So how about listening to a wholesomely innocent, enjoyable story instead?

Though boys can certainly listen to this audiobook, little girls will fall in love with Rachel Yoder. Author Wanda E. Brunstetter has a knack for bridging the gaps between cultures by making experiences with siblings and feelings of jealousy seem universal. Because of that, and because “Just Plain Foolishness” is written with a kids’-eye view, young listeners will be able to identify with the rascally Rachel, even if they’re completely unfamiliar with Amish ways.

Though part of a series for 6-to-12-year-olds, “Just Plain Foolishness” can be enjoyed as a standalone story. Don’t be surprised, though, if your child wants the rest of these books.