A People Apart

Overview

Old Order Mennonites live in closed communities, rejecting much of modern life. Many still use horse-drawn equipment on their farms; their style of clothing has changed little in the last 100 years. They strive for lives of peace, humility, and simplicity. Yet, as Kathleen Kenna and Andrew Stawicki show, their lives are not simple or easy. After years of attending barn raisings, religious services, and events in private homes, the writer and photographer befriended members of several Mennonite communities, who ...

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Overview

Old Order Mennonites live in closed communities, rejecting much of modern life. Many still use horse-drawn equipment on their farms; their style of clothing has changed little in the last 100 years. They strive for lives of peace, humility, and simplicity. Yet, as Kathleen Kenna and Andrew Stawicki show, their lives are not simple or easy. After years of attending barn raisings, religious services, and events in private homes, the writer and photographer befriended members of several Mennonite communities, who agreed to be interviewed and photographed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kenna and Stawicki provide much more than a curiosity seeker's view. . . a heartfelt, understanding profile of a people who live a life in which time seems to have stood still." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Andrew Stawicki's black-and-white photographs might seem as antique as those in the book above for they show people in costumes and conveyances of times long gone. The men, women, and children are contemporary, though, and of their own volition A People Apart. Named for the Catholic priest Menno Simons who was rebaptized and ordained as an Anabaptist leader in 1537, the pacifist Mennonites simply and humbly follow biblical teachings and eschew much that is modern. Kathleen Kenna's account of their history and twentieth century lives is an absorbing view of people who, among other things, raise their children to enjoy games for the fun of them. In baseball, soccer, or other games, no one boasts of winning, no one teases losers, and often no one keeps score. How refreshing.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-This excellent book shows various aspects of life in Old Order Mennonite communities, including home, work, education, and worship. The well-written text does a good job of explaining the Mennonites' lifestyle and the reasons they choose to live as they do. It also explains how groups splinter off or individuals leave or are expelled because of disagreements about what is acceptable and unacceptable, using an example of a man who believed he needed a telephone for his business. The full-page black-and-white photographs are marvelous and reflect the same respect for the way of life expressed in the narrative. While there are several fine titles about the Amish, including Doris Faber's The Amish (Doubleday, 1991; o.p.) and Raymond Bial's Amish Home (Houghton, 1993), there is little available on the Mennonites, making A People Apart a worthwhile addition.-Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Stephanie Zvirin
It may be simple inquisitiveness about the black-and-white photo on the dust jacket that impels children to pick up this book. But Kenna and Stawicki provide much more than a curiosity seeker's view of the Mennonite community. Their photo-essay is a heartfelt, understanding profile of a rarely photographed people who live a life in which time seems to have stood still. Kenna, who "attended a Mennonite church as a child," shows great respect for the Mennonite way--its selfless dedication to community, its discipline, its striving for peace--but she also acknowledges the ongoing battle, the contradictions and pressures, that come with "being in the world, but not of the world." Letting the people often speak for themselves, she introduces some Old Order Mennonites who talk about their history, traditions, growing up, and daily lives. We learn how they feel about what they do and how they feel about who they are. In perfect accord with the text are Stawicki's affecting, well-chosen black-and-white photographs, which reflect the graceful tranquility of the community as its people work, play, and worship. Even the book design is well thought out. Warm white pages and a spacious layout welcome browsing, and the fetching photographs, looking every bit as if they were taken decades ago, invite children to stay and read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395673447
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1080L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.25 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.75 (d)

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