Barn Raising – Amish

Barn Raising

Craig Brown, author and illustrator

Harper Collins Publishers, 2002

Suitable for:  Ages 5 and up

Themes:  Amish Lifestyle, Community, Cooperation, Generosity, Neighbors

Opening/Synopsis:  “After the fire there was no place on Jacob’s farm to keep animals.  A neighbor made space for them in his barn.”  Lightning strikes the family barn and a generous Amish community arrives to help Jacob’s father clear the land so that a new barn can be built.  Friends and neighbors arrive from all over the county to help raise a new barn in one day.   The women come with a feast of food to feed the workers.

What I like about this book:  Craig Brown has written and illustrated a heartwarming story about how the Amish community comes together to help a neighbor in need.   Brown’s illustrations are rich and detailed, depicting each stage of the barn raising.   His illustrations are also expressive and emotive.  You feel the strong bond between neighbors and friends.  This is a beautiful story to introduce children to the Amish culture and talk about how neighbors support each other during times of trouble.  In his larger illustrations of the barn raising, Brown includes close-up inserts which make you feel like you are helping.  There is a page at the back of the book that gives more detail about Barn Raisings and the preparation required.  This also is an excellent book for children interested in building and constructing.  Check out Craig Brown’s  fun website and view the books he’s written.   He’s known to school kids as “Farmer Brown.”  I had the opportunity of meeting Craig Brown at the Southampton Children’s Literature Conference this summer.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

20 thoughts on “Barn Raising – Amish

  1. This book sounds lovely — not only a great way to introduce Amish culture to young children, but also a way to talk about the pioneer days of our own cultures when a barn-raising was a frequent occurrence in farming communities. I also appreciated the link to Craig’s website. I’d love to read some of his books about farming! Was he in your group at Stony Brook Southampton? Did he read on Sunday? How did I miss him?


    • Beth, your are right. This also goes along with the pioneer days. I love Amish Barn Raisings, a glimpse of our ealier past where neighbors helped each other. Nothing like it exists today. Yes, Craig was in my group. And, he did read on Sunday. I didn’t realize the talented author/illustrator he was until I returned and checked out his books. Glad you liked the book.


  2. I used to live near Amish country and have always been fascinated by their lifestyle and sense of community. Sounds like a wonderful PB to introduce the Amish to children.


  3. Can you believe it? I was smack in the middle of Amish country yesterday! I love the whole concept of barn raising – it is my favorite scene in Witness 🙂 There’s something so appealing about a community pulling together to help one another, and it seems like something that’s been lost to a large extent in today’s world.


  4. I’ll have to look this one up. Our community is doing this now as the community hardest hit by the summer’s wildfires is rebuilding.


    • Stacy, I have thought about how relevant this book with all the natural disasters that have occurred in recent years. It’s heartwarming to see a community come together to help one another. This book is a great share with children.


  5. I like that this book focuses on a sense of community and helping each other. The cover illustration is so fun and life-like, I can only imagine the rest of the illustrations! I’m going to go check out Craig’s website now…


    • Toni, so happy that you read the review. I was so excited to discover his books and fortunately one fit with my theme. There is another that I really like and plan to review. Thanks for stopping. Hope you are doing well. Can’t believe 6 weeks have passed since the conference. Loved spending time with you. — Pat


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