Polly and Andy, two more books in Ellie’s People series, released

September 3, 2015
News release

Herald Press republishes Polly and Andy stories for young readers
Books 5 and 6 of Mary Christner Borntrager’s Ellie’s People series to be released

HARRISONBURG, Va., and KITCHENER, Ontario—Mary Christner Borntrager was cherished by her family for sitting down to tell stories or read to children and grandchildren. Late in her life, she turned that gift into a legacy of published books for her family and youthful readers of all ages.

Polly, about a family moving from their Amish community to Texas, and Andy, about an Amish boy who faces adolescent angst and teasing, are the newest novels in this series released by Herald Press in September and October.

The Ellie’s People series chronicles the family and friends of the protagonist of book 1, Ellie Maust, across several generations. While fictional, the series focuses on real issues young people face within the context of an Amish life. Borntrager grew up in an Old Order Amish home, and she based her stories on the people and places of her childhood. Books from the series have sold more than half a million copies.

PollyIn book 5, Polly Miller doesn’t want to move to Texas. No other Amish families live in Lone Prairie, and Polly loves her family and friends in Ohio. But her father’s mind is made up. As Polly settles into her new life, she gains a non-Amish friend, Rose Ann, who shares her dresses and makeup with Polly. She also earns the attention of a young hired hand named Tom, who takes her to a rodeo and tells her how pretty she is.

Andy Maust, the protagonist of book 6, likes to writeAndy.indd poems. He’s not good at running or wrestling or any of the other activities that Amish boys enjoy. The other boys tease him mercilessly, and then Andy’s dog disappears in a mysterious way. As “drifters” roam the country on trains looking for work and a hot meal, Andy begins to imagine running away from his troubles.

The books are written for readers 10 years and up. The language has been updated for today’s reader, and the books have new covers.

Borntrager’s novels have been praised for their accurate descriptions of Amish life. Borntrager’s daughter Kathryn Keim writes in an upcoming article for the popular AmishWisdom blog about her mother’s books, “Her goal was to give the world books that were true to life about people who are often misunderstood,” Keim writes. “I think she accomplished that.”

Polly and Andy are available for $9.99 USD/$­­­ 11.49 CAD each from MennoMedia at 800-245-7894 or www.MennoMedia.org, as well as at bookstores.

MennoMedia staff

High resolution photo available upon request.
For more information
Melodie Davis
News manager

An internship in the world of Mennonite publishing

Guest post by Luisa Miller

A few short months ago, I began an internship in the world of publishing at MennoMedia in the editorial department of Herald Press.

Since then, I have:Rachel

The internship was pretty informal; I averaged 2-3 hours a week, and most of my work involved proofreading manuscripts and emailing them from the comfort of my own home.

I’m seriously considering editing as a career path, and everything about this internship confirmed that interest for me. The fact that I was, for the most part, doing pretty boring work and still came away loving the experience helped. It also confirmed for me that this is something I can actually do pretty well, and maybe, just maybe, I could take these talents to a real job someday, a job that I enjoy.

What I wanted to get out of this internship was experience, education about the field of publishing, and a nice little blurb on my resume. And I got all of those things. But I also got a tiny taste of the scope of MennoMedia, an organization about which, before this summer, I knew surprisingly little. I grew up Mennonite, so the MennoMedia logo is a very familiar one: from Sunday school curricula to Amish fiction in the church library, I encountered it a lot. I even worked at a Christian bookstore for three and a half years, and I’m sure I sold plenty of their stuff. But I never really saw it or noticed how much of what I read bore that little dove and olive branch. And since I worked on a lot of nitty-gritty stuff, I still don’t have a great sense of the big picture. But even just in the limited capacity in which I worked, I encountered all sorts of books: Biblical commentary, biography, fiction, cookbook, memoir, VBS curriculum, church resources, evangelism, and more. It’s not surprising that MennoMedia produces such a broad range of resources, but something about seeing it up-close and personal drove home for me how many of the books I grew up reading and interacting with were produced by MennoMedia.


MennoMedia Harrisonburg staff have an office potluck once a month, here with a grill.

Toward the end of the summer, I participated in a couple of Skype meetings. I have nothing with which to compare it, but it was fun to see editors, designers, and others bouncing ideas off of each other about what cover to use on a book or talking about what projects they were working on. And even in the limited time I spent observing these meetings, I could see that they were friends; there was a certain level of camaraderie, a social aspect that I wouldn’t have anticipated. This was a new perspective for me; whenever I pictured myself as an editor, I saw myself sitting in front of a computer, writing comments on manuscripts and sending them off – something very solitary. But these people were almost like a family. And whatever I end up doing, I’d love to have that sense of community in the workplace.

So was the experience what I expected? Yes and no. Were parts of it boring? Totally. Am I loving how much I learned and how much I enjoyed it? Absolutely. It was time well spent, and wherever life takes me, I’m glad to have had this experience.


Luisa Miller is a junior English and music major at Eastern Mennonite University. A member of Slate Hill Mennonite Church in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, she is spending the fall semester in China. 


Internships–normally for academic credit, are available on a case by case basis and are individually arranged over summers or the school year. Must have strong recommendations of professors or an academic department.