cover image A World Away

A World Away

Nancy Grossman. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4231-5153-1

At age 16, Eliza feels trapped by the conservative traditions of her Amish community. During her “rumspringa,” a time when Amish teenagers are allowed to “step out of the plain world,” she has the opportunity to be a nanny for a family in the Chicago suburbs. Eliza is thrilled with her new contemporary wardrobe and the modern conveniences available to her, but she didn’t anticipate falling in love with a neighbor, Josh, who introduces her to the Rolling Stones and the telephone, or discovering secrets that will significantly change her view of her family. Although Eliza’s new life is easier in many ways, the moral dilemmas she encounters are more complicated than any she’s previously met. In this honest and meticulously detailed first novel, Grossman offers a rare glimpse into Amish culture, bringing to light core values and the difficulties Amish people, especially teens, face living apart from the rest of the world. Eliza emerges as an intelligent, vulnerable heroine who gains wisdom and maturity from the mistakes she makes and the friendships she builds. Ages 12–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Literary Agency. (July)