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Eliza has lived her whole life sheltered from modern technology, and she has also lived a life free of modern problems like materialism, consumerism and deceit. Eliza and her family are Amish and she has never left the Amish community where they do not have telephones, movie theatres, or shopping malls. They do not listen to music, and the girls do not wear pants.
Once in their lives Amish adolescents are offered an opportunity to see what it is like to live among “the English” – as they call people living outside the Amish community. During this important year, called Rumspringa, Amish teens are allowed to explore the world outside and decide which life they prefer. Once they promise themselves to the Amish, they cannot leave without shame, so the decision is made very thoughtfully.
A World Away is the story of Eliza’s Rumspringa year. The magic of technology in all its forms is exciting, but there are things about her home she misses terribly. Which life will she choose?
If you enjoy reading about adolescents challenged to make difficult decisions, you might also like reading: The Year of Impossible Goodbyes, by Sook Nyul Chol, or Small Acts of Amazing Courage, by Gloria Whelan.