Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A World Away by Nancy Grossman

A World Away by Nancy Grossman

Eliza has wondered about "the English" for a long time. When they come to visit her house as part of their vacations at the local inn, the English clearly wonder about her and her family as well. Eliza thinks it's a little strange that these visitors would want to come to a strangers house just to look at them and ask them questions. But it seems that there's no end to their interest in the way the Amish live.

Eliza's family knows about her curiosity and it worries them. When Amish teenagers reach the age of 16 they are supposed to have a chance to go out into the other world and explore what it's like. But, Eliza's parents found her a job working at the inn where the dinner visitors stay and that seems to be the extent of her summer away. It's not enough, and for the first time, Eliza feels the boundaries of her world are pressing in on her.

But a chance meeting with a guest at the inn who needs a babysitter gives Eliza the leverage she needs with her parents. Suddenly she's in a suburb outside of Chicago, watching two children and completely immersed in that other world she's been thinking about for so long. She gets to wear jeans and listen to music, it's a world full of surprises and new things to discover, instead of her world where everything was familiar and routine.

But as she meets teens her own age, Eliza finds that she is still "other" to them. It seems more and more likely that if she wants to truly find out what it is like to be part of the English, she'd have to give up her old world. Is that what she wants? Is that what every Amish teen finds on their summer away? How can Eliza make a choice between the wonders of the new and the comfort of the old?

This is a unique look at the lives that we all take for granted. Even things that used to be amazing to us, like Iphones, HD TV and 3-D movies have become old hat. But, seeing them through Eliza's eyes, is a good reminder how amazing all of these tech tools really are. At the same time, A World Away will make you think about what things are actually important. Nancy Grossman does a wonderful job of making you wonder which choice you'd make if you were in Eliza's shoes.

A World Away is also a fun read because Eliza is a great strong girl character. For the most part, she holds on to her principals and sees when others are trying to use her for their own advantage. But, she's not perfect and her mistake making rings very true as well. This isn't a preachy book at all, but it's one on an interesting topic that will leave you thinking about it after you've closed the cover.

Get a taste of Eliza's story with this excerpt of the first chapter of the book here:


Anonymous said...

I thought the concept of this book was interesting, and I loved the cover!

nico said...

I love the cover too. Thanks for the comment and we hope you like the book!