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Book Review

School's Out by Wanda E. Brustetter has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first book in the "Rachel Yoder" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Rachel Yoder, a 9-year-old Amish girl, looks forward to celebrating the last day of school with a picnic. Her 11-year-old brother, Jacob, smashes a stinkbug on Rachel's chicken, and a bee stings her. When Rachel goes to the creek to relieve the pain, she falls in the creek. The next day when she follows a mother cat and kittens into a neighbor's underground root cellar, a gust of wind slams the door shut, and Rachel is locked in the cellar until that neighbor eventually finds her. For her birthday, Rachel wants a skateboard and puts one on layaway. Although she works hard, she cannot afford it. Her brother gives her a homemade skateboard, and her older sister gives her another skateboard. At the end of the book, Rachel falls asleep in the buggy, and the new horse runs away with it. Jacob runs after the buggy and is able to grab the horses' bridle and stop him. Rachel learns that her brother loves her, even though he constantly teases her.

Christian Beliefs

The Amish hold church services in homes or schools every other week. The women sit on one side of the church and the men on others.

Other Belief Systems

Old Order Amish wear plain clothing. They avoid anything modern such as electricity, automobiles and telephones. They travel by horse and buggy, only renting a driver when they need to go on longer trips.

Authority Roles

Rachel is expected to obey her mother and father immediately and without question. Her father works in the fields along with other boys and men, and the mother and daughters do the housework, garden, feed the chickens and gather eggs.





Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

7 to 10


Wanda E. Brunstetter






Record Label



Barbour Publishing


On Video

Year Published





We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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