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FAMILY TREE by Katherine Ayres


by Katherine Ayres

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-385-32227-5
Publisher: Delacorte

 A poignant first novel about a girl's discovery of her father's Amish upbringing and her own family's past. When Tyler, who lives alone with her widowed father, is assigned to make a family tree, discoveries abound: Her father, Jakob Stoudt, was raised Amish, and shunned for marrying an ``English'' woman, Sarah Tyler; Sarah's father rejected Jakob as ``different.'' When Sarah, pregnant, died in a car crash and the baby was born prematurely, Jakob let the Tylers believe the child was dead, too, fearing they would take her. As each discovery leads to another, Tyler is torn between sympathy for her father's pain, and anger at being cut off from the rest of her family. In sure, deft strokes, each character emerges: Tyler's tough, wise teacher; her good-hearted, tormented father; her protective friend, Casey; and Tyler herself. Tyler learns of her father's culture mostly by reading her mother's compassionate books and journals about the Amish; she also glimpses the romance that brought her father and mother together. As the world of Tyler's family opens to her, the writing is consistently graceful; the unfolding story will enthrall readers. (Fiction. 8-12)