B&B Love or Duty?Five days until release day for Brightest and Best!

Here’s the skinny on what it’s about.

The collapse of a schoolhouse puts pressure on Amish families and their long-held educational values. Ella Hilty anticipates marrying Gideon Wittmer and becoming a mother to his children. In a whirling clash of values, Ella seeks the solid ground that seems to have slipped away. Margaret Simpson, an English schoolteacher, wonders if she is losing her last chance at love. As the local authorities draw lines in the sand, Margaret puts romance at risk one final time. All eyes turn to Ella to make a sacrifice and accept a challenge that can bring unity to the Amish and understanding to the English.

As you can see, the story is about Amish attitudes toward education. In honor of the theme and five days to go, here are five quotes from my research.

5. “As parents we are challenged with rearing our children to serve God. There are many things to hinder us, and Satan has set many snares. But the outlook is not hopeless.”

4. “Teaching, commanding, training, bringing them up, these are the duties of parents to their children. … Are we training and teaching our children, if we send them to state schools five days a week.”

3. “How can we parents expect our children to grow up untainted by the world, if we voluntarily send them into a worldly environment, where they associate with worldly companions.”

2. “Do you see the inconsistency of having a teacher who is not of our faith? No matter how sympathetic, such a teacher can come only half way.”

1. “We do not know what the future holds for us and our children, but we do know Who holds the future.”

These come from a chapter by Joseph Stoll, a leader in the Amish school movement, in a book called Compulsory Education and the Amish.

How many of these statements would you agree with when it comes to your opinions about education?

I hope that as you read Brightest and Best you will grapple with your convictions right along with Ella and Margaret and Gideon, because the society we share benefits when we both understand our own values and the values of others.

P.S. If you’re on Goodreads, check out the giveaway for five copies of Brightest and Best. The drawing ends August 8.