Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Just Plain Foolishness - 6th in the Rachel Yoder-Always Trouble Somewhere series
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Release Date: December 2008
Genre/Sub-genre: Youth Inspirational Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 8-12
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 8-12
Year/Setting: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Overall Rating: 5.0
Wanda's Website: www.rachelyoderbooks.com
Rachel Yoder is excited because school is out for the summer, her grandfather’s greenhouse is being built and he promised to let her help with the plants. Rachel is full of excitement until she begins to realize that with a new baby brother or sister due any time, there won’t be any vacations or trips this summer. When chores and work begin to shift onto Rachel, she feels like nobody really cares about her and they only care about the new baby.
In the midst of her jealousy and sadness, she takes a trip to an amusement park—without her parents’ permission—and instead of solving things, her problems get worse. Will Rachel ever find a way to be content?
Rachel is a high-spirited Amish girl who doesn’t see that her catch phrase, "Always trouble somewhere," often leads to the troubles in her own life. She has some of that pre-teen angst, but with her Amish upbringing, her family has a way of showing her the path to contentment. Being an older sister myself, I really identified with Rachel and her feelings of being a bit older when losing the status of ‘baby’ to a new one. Wanda Brunstetter does an excellent and accurate job of portraying the feelings of inadequacy and that feeling that you’re no longer special to your parents.
I love how Rachel’s family resolves these issues. They are realistic in their punishment, so it’s not all Pollyanna either. I think parents benefit from Rachel Yoder books as much as our children do. This book was a fresh look at Rachel and she seems to have matured throughout the series and now she isn’t as negative as she was before. With her new and improved (most of the time) outlook, the story was much more enjoyable to read. After her escapades at the amusement park, I can’t wait for the next book to see what sort of mischief Rachel finds herself in next.
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