Katy has always enjoyed life in her small Mennonite community, but she longs to learn more than her school can offer. After getting approval from her elders, Katy begins her sophomore year at the public school in town, where she meets new friends and encounters perspectives much different than her own. But as Katy begins to find her way in the outside world, her relationships at home become strained. Can she find a balance between her two worlds?
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Katys New World is the first Katy Lambright book in a new teen series by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I have enjoyed some of Kims other novels, and, even though Im way past my teen years, this one also captured my interest and kept me reading. Katy belongs to the Old Order Mennonites, whose education ends with ninth grade in their one-room school. Katy longs to keep learning and is given permission by the church leaders to attend the public high school in a nearby city.Not only is Katy unfamiliar with worldly ways, she doesnt even know the meaning of many words her peers take for granted. She has to learn her way around the noisy school and keep up with mounds of homework, plus all her chores at home and helping her aunt in her fabric store. Katy wonders how she can cope with all the pressure, plus the uncertainty of where she really belongs and the void of not having a mother.Shelby, Katys escort on the first day of school, befriends her. They discover similarities and differences in their lives, and grow in respect for each other. Katy makes some poor choices in the course of the story, but learns from her mistakes. She also gains insight into herself. Can Katy have two best friendsAnnika, her friend from childhood, and Shelby, daughter of the Baptist pastor? How can they reach out to Jewel, Shelbys foster sister? Does the teasing Caleb like Katy or Annika best? Will Katys dad find a new wife after all these years? I expect these questions to carry on in the next book.
The author, Kim Vogel Sawyer, has written a contemporary story of a teen girl caught in the middle of two very different worlds. Or are they really that different?I enjoyed the simple storyline that explored the differences, and yet the similarities, of life between the "worldly people" and the Mennonite community. The characters are easy to relate to and are dealing with ordinary problems that a teen girl faces. It's an easy-to-follow plot that holds a few unexpected twists and turns and is full of obvious and underlying lessons. I appreciated the way the Sawyer dealt with the reality of trying to fit in and other harder topics in a manner appropriate for teen girls to be reading. This book will not only be a light and enjoyable read, but also one that encourages and teaches through it's entertainment.It's a book I would let my daughter read without hesitation and a series I look forward to following.* * * * *This review copy was provided courtesy of Zondervan. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and strictly those of Mandy and no compensation was made in any way.
This is a great book about an Mennonite teen that wanted to go on to a regular high school instead of just the few grades that most of the community attend. She want to be a jourShe gets really confused for a while and don't know if she will ever fit in with the high school crowd with her different up bringing and the clothes she wears.Will she make friends or will she have to drop out and go home and work on the farm for her dad.A great book for a young teen and even this great-grandma loved it.This is the first in the The Katy Lambright series by Kim Vogel Sawyer.The book for this review was a complimentary copy from Zondervan Publisher.
This book is not only well written, but is totally engaging. I didnt want to put the book down after I started reading it. I give this book a two-thumbs up and recommend it highly.In Katys New World Katy struggles to keep her roots as a Mennonite and yet fit in with her new friends at school. Life is full of ups in downs as Katy learns about the outside world and struggles to keep old and new friendships alike. After the deacons of her Old Order Mennonite church approve her request to extend her education past her communitys ninth grade norm, Katy Lambright starts her sophomore year in public high school. Unsure of what to expect and mindful of the deacons warning of becoming too worldly, Katy begins her journey into higher education. Katy is assigned Shelby Nuss, her escort for the first week to help her settle in. But when Katy invites her lifelong best friend, Annika, over to her home with her new friend, it ends in disaster. She starts to realize that her two worlds are planets apart. On top of all of this, some of her extended family is against the idea of her extending her education, especially in the outside world. After all, shed heard the whispers of her fellowship, Would she be her mothers daughter through and through?Katy learns that Jewel, a not-so-nice girl, is coming to live with Shelby and her family as a foster child. Jewel seems resentful and bitter. Can Katy reach out to her or will her effort to reach out end in disaster also?Throughout the book, Katy struggles and tries to overcome the obstacles that land in her path at nearly every turn. To make matters worse, she makes a huge mistake that could cost her the dreams shes had for so long. Can Katy balance both worlds, or must she pick one? Will she lose all that is dear to her? Can she decide where she belongs? Review by Emily, 14 years old
If I could pick 5 words to describe this book they would be: Family. Friends. Truth. Lies. Adventures. Katys New World is an awesome read for pre-teen through teen girls. You should read this book because it is very descriptive and teaches you about modesty. Firstly, I love how Kim Sawyer constantly reminds you that Katy is a Mennonite by mentioning Katys white cap strings. In addition, I also like how the author describes how much Katy loves to learn and wants to learn. Also, this book is a good read for girls because it teaches them about modesty. Katy wears a dress that covers up everything, while her friend from public school, Shelby, does show a bit. However, some people might think that reading a religious book might make the reading less enjoyable. I actually liked it more because I could imagine Katy walking into 10th grade at a public school in a dress, while everyone else was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. I felt her joy as she bounced on the sleeping bags with her worldly friends, and I bit my nails when she was the single leaf clinging to a treeholds so tight-it wont give up without a fight as Katys poem says. Due to all of this, Katys New World is a very good book. Please read it.
Katy Lambright Series book one.This was a departure in my personal reading as a book targeted for young adults. I am a historical fiction lover at heart, but this quick read captured and held my attention for many reasons. The ever-popular Amish and Mennonite fiction has so far eluded my reading shelf, but I admit, I've been curious. This is about a young Mennonite girl, Kathleen Lambright, who has been given special permission from the deacons of her congregation to attend public high school beyond the ninth grade norm of her community. Right away, Sawyer depicts teen angst at its finest, as Katy leaves her familiarity and ventures into what no one else in her community has ever done with the leadership's blessing--enter the world.Adding to the conflict of Katy's awkward adjustments to school bells and the snickering and tittering of those around her, her community doesn't understand her longing for learning. Her best friend's jealousy over her time away and of her new friendships leaves her between two worlds, and the criticism of her aunt and others who think she will repeat a family scandal grieves her heart. But through it all, Katy faces her changing landscape with courage, determination, and a lovably imperfect character that manages to triumph in the end, rather like an Anne of Green Gables in a bonnet. I found myself endeared to this realistic young heroine to the point that I would like to follow her on her next journey, which looks like an addition to her close-knit family may be brewing.Engaging, warm and full of human insight, the writing matched the character. A wonderful read for young and old.
Katy's New World by Kim Vogel Sawyer is the first book in the Katy Lambright series about a Mennonite girl attending a public high school. I just have to get this off of my chest before I get into my review: I don't think that this book will actually appeal to the audience the author and publisher is hoping for. While bonnet fiction is extremely popular right now, I don't see teenage girls who listen to Ke$ha and Lady Gaga being interested in a Mennonite girl's life. That said, it's the kind of book that moms really want their daughters to read and girls roll their eyes at and ignore. However, if the girls could be convinced to crack the covers, inside they will find a completely enjoyable read. Katy, although Mennonite, is going through the same worries and insecurities that so many teenage girls suffer. She worries about fitting in and pleasing her parents. She feels overburdened by her father's expectations and flustered by the attention of boys. She wants to stay true to who God wants her to be, but she hasn't exactly figure out who that is yet. I loved reading about Katy's love of language and poetry and her desire for to know more and be more than her community expects. I look forward to reading more of this series.
Katy embarks on a new world when she leaves her small old order mennonite school to attend public high school. She faces scorn and ignorance of her and her lifestyle, yet her desire to learn more overcomes that as she bravely faces her new world. Her father faces some of the same things, but in a different way as he remembers when Katy's mother abandoned them for a different lifestyle. This book expresses well some of the reasons why parents are strict at times and how even though there are differences in lifestyles, many times they are more the same than you realize. This was a nice short story, written for teen girls, but I think girls ages 10-14 would enjoy it. It is nice to see a story where a girl wishes to respect her father, but has normal temptations to do anything but. This book is about an old order mennonite girl, while similar to Amish in many ways, it is very different. Also, very different than most Mennonites as well, who generally always complete high school.
Katy's New World is a quick enjoyable read. As a reader, I was hooked from the first page. I wasn't sure if I'd be interested in a girl from a Mennonite community, but Kim Sawyer hooked me. The thought of someone from a Mennonite community integrating into a public high school is quite intriguing. I love how Katy thinks how she'd like to answer, but constantly keeps her mouth shut.Kim Vogel Sawyer writes her young characters as believably as she does the adult characters. Kim has a lovely voice and is respectful to her characters.I enjoyed how everything wrapped up in the end. And was surprised how the novel ended considering how it began. So readers, beware of a little twisting in the plot :-)
I was introduced to Kim Vogel Sawyer's books about a year ago - and I really love her writing. Her books are quickly becoming my favorites and have found permanent homes on my bookshelves. I have yet to send one on to paperbackswap!When I was given the chance to review Kim's newest title, Katy's New World, the first book in a series written for young adults, I really wanted to see what she'd write for our daughters.Like each of Kim's books that I have read so far, Katy's New World is well-developed and full of engaging, believable characters.Katy belongs to a Mennonite community which only schools their children through 9th grade. After much thought and prayer, Katy's community has allowed her to attend the public high school. She is warned that any sign of following the world, will result in that decision being reversed.Having never been exposed to so much of the world, Katy finds it loud and unsettling at first. She then begins to wonder where she fits in. The "world" thinks her weird, and her close Mennonite friends seem to avoid her.I was pleased to see that Katy showed respect to her dad, even when she felt the typical inner teen struggle between what-I-want-to-do versus what-is-right-to-do.And, although Katy is not perfect - she makes some wrong choices - I felt her entire character was safe for my daughter to read Katy's New World some day.*Each of us holds to different standards and guidelines. I highly recommend you reading several books by the author(s) of your children's books, before allowing them to read them.*