Sarah and Mandy, books 7 and 8 of Ellie’s People, released

SarahJanuary 13, 2016
News release

Sarah and Mandy, books 7 and 8 of Ellie’s People, released
Herald Press republishes Mary Christner Borntrager books

HARRISONBURG, Va., and KITCHENER, Ontario—The popular series of Amish novels for young readers, Ellie’s People, continues with the rerelease of books 7 and 8, Sarah and Mandy, from Herald Press. The series, enjoyed by all ages, has sold more than half a million copies. Author Mary Christner Borntrager grew up Amish and drew on her own experience for these classic stories of faith and Amish life.

In Sarah, Sarah Troyer finds her peaceful Amish childhood disrupted by difficulty. Her mother is ill and the family’s hired help treats Sarah unfairly. When two tragedies hit Sarah’s family, they threaten to overwhelm Sarah’s trust in God. Sarah is faced with a choice: to let grief and resentment triumph, or to find her way to a new place of hope and love.

MandyBook 8, Mandy, follows the story of Mandy Schrock. Mandy’s brother has special needs, and many in the Amish community love and care for him. But Mandy finds herself caught between caring for her brother and dealing with some who tease him. When calamity strikes, Mandy wonders if she is to blame. Guilt and grief bring questions, but God’s grace and redemption provide a counterpoint as Mandy learns through her experience.

Fans of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book series are one audience for the family saga of Ellie’s People, with its traditional communities and courageous characters who face adversity. Earlier books in the series—Ellie, Rebecca, Rachel, Reuben, Polly, and Andy—are also available from Herald Press. The new editions of Ellie’s People feature updated language for today’s readers. Each book includes a family tree for the series and a Pennsylvania Dutch language glossary.

Mary Christner Borntrager was born to Amish parents near Plain City, Ohio. She based the stories of Ellie’s People on the people and places of her Old Order Amish childhood and youth. Always a storyteller, she turned those skills to writing these family novels of faith.

Sarah and Mandy 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
Hi-res photos available

for more information on the news release
Melodie Davis
MennoMedia
540-574-4874
MelodieD@mennomedia.org

 

 

Gather around the Amish Table shares recipes and stories from Plain life

GatherAroundTheAmishTableNews release
August 19, 2015

Updated Herald Press cookbook adds recipe photography

HARRISONBURG, Va. and KITCHENER, Ontario.—“It’s one of the blessings of life to share ourselves with each other.” So writes Old Order Mennonite compiler Lucy Leid in her introduction to Gather around the Amish Table, a cookbook released by Herald Press in August.

Gather around the Amish Table is an updated edition of Leid’s previous compilation, Countryside Cooking & Chatting released by Herald Press back in 2006. In light of the perennial popularity of Amish and Mennonite cookbooks, editors updated and retitled Countryside Cooking & Chatting, added new full color photography, and retested and revised recipes.

Originally Leid gathered recipe submissions and stories for the book project via Die Botschaft, a weekly periodical popular in her community as well as other Mennonite and Amish communities across the United States. In the book’s introduction, she describes her goal in the creation of the book: “There are so many cookbooks around, but I wanted a cookbook with stories in it, too, with the kinds of sharing I enjoy from Die Botschaft.”

Recipes vary from family sized dishes to the 120 pies and 50 pounds of roast beef required for a barn-raising. Accompanying the recipes and simple step-by-step instructions are stories submitted by the same cooks who shared their recipes.

14-07-10 Amish Cookbook-65 14-07-10 Amish Cookbook-57Leid has included her own kitchen tips spread throughout Gather around the Amish Table, from adding wheat germ to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches healthier to suggestions about how to use water left over from boiling eggs.

Melissa Engle was food photographer with Cherise Harper serving as food stylist. The two women also worked on recent Herald Press cookbook updates: Mennonite Community Cookbook 65th Anniversary Edition, Extending the Table Revised Edition, and Simply in Season 10th Anniversary Edition.

Leid lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where she and her husband run an evergreen nursery and belong to a local Old Order Mennonite church community, the Groffdale Conference, and use horse and buggy transportation.

“As I paged through the recipes and poured over the photos in Gather around the Amish Table, I found myself thinking again and again, I’ve just got to try this! There are so many recipes in here just waiting to become new family favorites,” says Georgia Varozza, author of Homestyle Amish Kitchen Cookbook.

Midwest Book Reviews says the book is a “prized and thoroughly ‘kitchen cook friendly’ addition to the family cookbook shelf.”

Lovella Schellenberg, one of the authors of Mennonite Girls Can Cook, says of Leid’s compilation: “Reading through the treasure of recipes allows a glimpse into the home life of a community that gathers around the table for fellowship, with thankfulness for the bounty that God has provided them.”

Gather around the Amish Table is available in paperback for $19.99 USD from MennoMedia at 800-245-7894 or www.MennoMedia.org, as well as at bookstores everywhere.

14-07-10 Amish Cookbook-35

MennoMedia Staff
High resolution photos available.

for more information on press release:
Melodie Davis
News manager
MennoMedia
540-574-4874
MelodieD@mennomedia.org

 

 

 

 

Herald Press republishes Rachel and Reuben of popular series

June 10, 2015

News release

Books 3 and 4 of Ellie’s People series released with new covers, textual updates

HARRISONBURG, Va., and KITCHENER, Ontario—Mary Christner Borntrager first published the Ellie’s People series of novels in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Herald Press is republishing most books in the series, and released books 3 and 4, Rachel and Reuben, this spring.

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. Books from the series have sold over half a million copies.

In book 3, Rachel feels drawn to the Amish community, despite her parents having left that Rachelway of life before she was born. Rachel must decide whether to discard her dreams of becoming Amish or to follow what seems to be God’s will by joining them, though it could mean facing ridicule from her siblings and friends.

ReubenBook 4 focuses on an Amish boy named Reuben. Though he tries to do the right thing and loves the Amish way of life, Reuben occasionally falls short of his parents’ expectations, especially when egged on by his peers. This pattern leads to tragedy when, on a dare, Reuben tries to prove how fast a new horse can run.

The books are written for readers 10 years and up. The stories remain the same, but the language has been updated for today’s reader and the covers have been redesigned.

Growing up Amish near Plain City, Ohio, influenced Borntrager’s writing, and her work has been noted for its accurate descriptions of Amish life.

MaryChristnerBorntrager_SigningBooks

Author Mary Christner Borntrager signing books.

Suzanne Woods Fisher, coauthor of The Adventures of Lily Lapp series, says of Borntrager’s work, “This authentic series has much to offer readers about the ups and downs of growing up plain. A great choice for a family read-aloud.”

Book 1 of the series, Ellie, was republished in August 2014. Books 5 and 6 of the series, Polly and Andy, will be released later this year.

Rachel and Reuben are available for $7.99 USD/$8.79 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 on Mary Christner Borntrager read our two earlier blog posts on the author.

For more information
Melodie Davis
News manager
MennoMedia
540-574-4874
MelodieD@MennoMedia.org