Katrina Yoder loves to sing---but her Amish parents view her gift as "vainglory." Katrina's best friend, Bekka, wants her to try out for American Star---a TV talent show---but Katrina resists . . . until her father grows ill. Can Katrina venture into "the world," win the competition, and help her family? 288 pages, softcover from Revell.
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In her second Amish novel, best-selling author Melody Carlson has crafted a unique story with true-to-life characters. Katrina Yoder, who has been blessed with a heavenly singing voice, was taught by her family not to draw attention to herself with her musical talent. That would be vainglory—something the Amish strive to avoid. Since she’s in her rumspringa, or running-around teen years, her friend Bekka convinces her to try out for the TV program America Star. The only reason Katrina agrees is because her dad is in severe pain, unable to work, and needs surgery on his back. This could offer the means to win money to help her family.
It seems a noble reason to sacrifice her way of life and venture into the “English” world in an attempt to ease her father’s suffering. The premise, however, doesn’t fit the Amish community because they will rally to pay for a member’s medical needs so the family doesn’t have to struggle financially. Despite the fact that this unlikely scenario would ever occur, the book is enjoyable and the journey Katrina undertakes is worth reading about. She faces challenges of faith and lifestyle and must decide whether to compromise or stand firm in what she truly believes.
This is the sort of book they should make into a movie! It is the story of Katrina Yoder, an Amish girl with a gift for singing, who ventures into the English world to enter a TV talent contest to win enough money so her Dad can have surgery to relieve chronic debilitating back pain. I guess it could have been called 'predictable' or 'been done before,' but I found it interesting, most enjoyable, and an all-round feel good read. Katrina was a bit lost in the big wide world, and it was great to see it through her eyes. The contrast between Katrina and Englisch contestant Breezy was clear, although I was pleased to see Katrina's light changing the darkness around her, rather than the other way around, which so often happens. I especially loved Aunt Alma, who took modern life in her stride and even managed to get the mobile phone working! This is a lovely story, which I recommend to all.
What a wonderful book! I love the connection to music as I also find great joy and stress-relief from singing! Amish do not encourage singing English songs or singing with instruments or even with "great joy and feeling". I can not imagine singing any other way and so I can see how it was so difficult for Katrina. This book was a fun, light read and gave me a good deal to smile about! I received a free copy of this book from Revell Publishing in a giveaway. Thank you so much!
When her father's painful injury, which keeps him from working, threatens to take away her family's livelihood Katrina is forced to make a decision that takes from her family, her friends, and her community. Can the voice that she has been given truly be a gift from God or is it from the devil so that she will seek vainglory and the English world?
What 17 year old girl wouldn't be tempted by the thought of wealth and fame? There are some who wouldn't and Katrina Yoder is one of them. Katrina puts herself out of her comfort zone, but only to help her father and her family through a physically and emotionally difficult and trying time.
I have to say I really dislike Aunt Fannie and her attitude towards her injured brother-in-law. But I'd also like to know why she feels like that towards that family, as she phrases it.
I like Aunt Alma, but when Katrina wanted to stay true to her Amish beliefs in how she dressed I think Alma could have been more supportive and understanding. But I assume that Alma was just as overwhelmed by the situation as Katrina was. Sometimes ignorance and outside pressures can force us into uncomfortable situations and compromises, but that inner voice that makes us uncomfortable is speaking to us for a reason.
I like the fact that Katrina was a Godly influence on her new friend Breezy by her helpful nature and her stand. We don't know how we will affect those around us by our behavior so we should always be true to our beliefs and faith in God. Katrina was an influence of goodness to those she befriended at the American Star competition and to those watching on television.
But while she is away from her community Katrina learns about the woman who was her Mammi (grandmother) and how she spent her non-Amish years. Sometimes the discovery of another's pain or joy brings into focus what is truly important in our own lives and A Simple Song is just such a story.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
This story begins as the Yoder family is burying their Grandmother. We then discover the secret of her hidden life. She gives part of that life as an inheritance to her Granddaughter Katrina. Katrina just happens to take after her Mammi in many ways. She has the voice of an Angel, just as her Mammi had, only she didn't know. When her friend Bekka introduces her to a solution to earn money so that her Dad can had much needed surgery. Bekka has been secretly...again a wayward Amish girl, watching American Star. Will this be the answer to Katrina's prayers? Can she use her talent to help her Dad? If she goes out into the English World, will she stay? If she wants to return, will the community accept her back? What a dilemma Katrina has, can you imagine a young sheltered Amish Girl, arriving in the big city. Never having been in even an elevator before! We get to see it all through her eyes. Enjoy this rather different Amish story, set in Ohio and Hollywood, I did!
I received this book through the Revell Blogger Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.
A Simple Song is a good read for young adults and teens that can also be enjoyed by more "mature" adult Amish fiction fans. The characters and story line take a contemporary path (one that may be a little out of the norm for most Amish stories) that should appeal particularly to a younger audience. This could be a good story for introducing younger readers to the genre.
Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Thanks to the publisher for providing this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
Katrina never expected Mamm to be pleased about this. And she never dreamed both her parents would agree to such madness. Now that neither of them appeared determined to stop her, she felt slightly let down. It seemed their consent came with a high price. Still, she remembered Daed’s ashen face earlier and her concerns for his health, and she thought perhaps the price was not too high after all.
Book: A Simple Song by Melody Carlson, Revell Publishers, 2013 Genre: Amish Fiction Target Audience: Girls 13-19 Subjects: Family relationships, Secrets, Sacrifice, Life Direction Summary: A good Amish girl, Katrina has never considered joining the outside world. Then, after the death of her grandmother, secrets come to light that change her views on music and expose her to the music of the outside world. Meanwhile, a good friend has been dabbling heavily into the media of the outside world for three years through the aid of a computer for the family business. She claims Katrina can sing just as good, if not better than those on American Star, a reality tv show for teenage singers. Katrina has no desire to pursue it, but then she learns that the surgery her Daed requires costs more money than she has a hope of making. So she enters the contest just to make enough money to help him. But can a young Amish girl who knows nothing of the outside world survive in such an environment? Notes: A typical Amish story, it begins with the discovery that someone had a secret that meant they had experimented with the outside world. From there the story delves into whether it is right or wrong for Katrina to use her singing for anything besides simple worship of God. This question is never really resolved. She just does it because she feels she has to, she doesn’t determine if it is truly right or wrong in the eyes of God. But Scripture is never brought up, just the rules of the particular Amish group she belongs to or another Amish group. Then as she enters the competition the question of her clothing comes up – is it right or wrong for her to try to fit in with the outside world while she is participating in it. Her aunt seems to think it’s ok, she concludes it is just not comfortable for her to dress as anyone different than who she is. Then the story ends with a concern of whether or not her family will accept her back after what she’s done and this too is left unanswered. It switches to romance at the end and ends with that scene, before she even makes it back home to see what her family’s reaction will be. Overall, I would say this is not a Christian book, just Amish. Yes, they have similarities, but rather than the Bible being the ultimate source of authority, the Amish man-made rules are and even these aren’t ultimate since they vary from one group to the next in this story. It certainly isn’t a bad book and the character does pray a few times, it’s just not a focus on Christianity. Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 2/5 Entertainment/Quality Recommendation Scale: 4/5 Reviewer: J:-)mi
1 Peter 2:12 - Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
“Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
Thank you to Revell for giving me a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Review 8 for A Simple Song
Date:June 7, 2013
This book held my attention from the very beginning. It was such an interesting story and I admired Katrina for her devotion to her Dad to do what she felt she had/could do to help him, knowing that the consequences for her behavior could sever her from her family. I really enjoyed this book.