Title: A World Away
Author: Nancy Grossman
Concepts: jobs, wages, wants versus needs, consumerism
Review: Eliza Miller's sixteenth birthday brought an important milestone known in the Amish community as rumspringa. Conditional on her parents' permission, she had the opportunity to leave home and experience life in the outside world for a short while. Teenagers were given this period of independence so they could choose freely if they truly wanted to become members of the Amish community for the rest of their lives.
Eliza's yearning to leave home and run wild grew all the more intense when a visitor from the Chicago area offered her a job as nanny for the summer. Her parents offered a surprising amount of resistance, but ultimately Eliza secured their consent and left home. Her job led to a wealth of exciting new experiences on a daily basis, so much so that Eliza began to doubt if she could ever go back home. How could she possibly decide between these two very different worlds?
This carefully crafted novel offers young adult readers a unique opportunity to learn more about Amish traditions and beliefs. Thoroughly woven into the story line are important lessons in economics related to jobs and also to consumerism in the United States. The book is a gem and will undoubtedly keep the attention of young adult readers from start to finish.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children