The Amish Teacher’s Gift, Book 1 of the Love & Promises Series
Guest Post from Rachel J. Good
Sometimes as an author, stories call to you and beg you to write them. This story first tugged at my heart after I spent time with an Amish friend’s special needs child. I thought about writing a book to show how the Amish treat each child as a gift from God. After meeting a hearing-impaired teen girl with Down’s syndrome and seeing how she was encouraged to live up to her potential, the idea grew stronger. This girl later became Martha in the book.
Then at an auction, I watched a young Down’s syndrome boy help the auctioneer by delivering the goods to the bidders. His straw hat tilted a little crookedly, but with a broad smile on his face, he carefully matched items with the correct bidder. He looked so proud of himself and proud to be able to do such an important job. I sat there at the auction and jotted notes for the novel.
Once I knew the topic of the novel, I began my research by visiting Amish schools for special needs, attending auctions to support them, and touring the Community Care Center, where Amish and Mennonite children and adults with special needs get amazing help. The young man in the wheelchair who showed us around was an awesome guide. We peeked into an exercise room, a therapy room, a craft room, several classrooms, a cafeteria, and my favorite—a multi-sensory environment. This room with dark walls lit only by a small row of twinkling Christmas lights had a ball pit (with the plastic balls like some fast food restaurants have in their play areas), a plush recliner, blankets, headphones, and a hammock. Autistic children at the center found this room a great calming atmosphere. I knew this room had to have a place in the book.
I visited a teacher who taught autistic children and learned a lot about programs, therapies, and teaching techniques. After learning the cutting edge techniques she used, I was surprised to realize that the Amish had adopted quite a few of them for their classrooms. I chose a hearing-impaired boy for the hero’s son because I had a nephew with hearing problems, so I could incorporate some of the struggles he had into the story.
I wanted this series to be about the healing power of love, so each book will deal with a different type of healing. When something touches my heart like this, I always pray it will touch the readers’ hearts too.
Rachel J. Good, inspirational author, writes heartfelt tales of hope, faith, and forgiveness. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. A former teacher and librarian, she completed her MA from Vermont College while raising five children. She is presently an MFA student at Hollins University. In addition to having more tha 2200 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pseudonyms, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers.
Book Review by Bree Herron
Rachel J. Good takes education into the Amish community and builds a story of love and faith around it. Working in Special Education, I have seen students with many unique cases of needs. The author did her research and it was evident in this novel, Ada is a beautiful teacher with the perfect attitude to be working with Nathan. It isn’t easy to teach sign language as there is a vast variety of styles, but the author made these moments realistic and allowed a reader to feel as though they were learning as well.
I love a good book with a sweet romance and seeing Ada and Josiah come together for Nathan was heart warming. Josiah was an excellent parent to a special needs child and willing to work for his son.
Ada makes this story and it was awesome to read such a wonderful, thoughtful story about a passionate teacher and her faith in being a good educator.
Please join the conversation and comment below. Have you read… If so what did you think/like?
**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.
- Carpe Diem, May 8
- Texas Book-aholic, May 8
- The Avid Reader, May 9
- Among the Reads, May 9
- Reading Is My SuperPower, May 10
- The Fizzy Pop Collection, May 10
- Lighthouse Academy, May 10
- Ansel book blog, May 11
- Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting. , May 12
- Bibliophile Reviews, May 12
- Splashes of Joy, May 12
- books n baubles, May 13
- A Baker’s Perspective, May 13
- cherylbbookblog, May 14
- Maureen’s Musings, May 14
- Captive Dreams Window, May 14
- Blossoms and Blessings, May 15
- Mary Hake, May 15
- Janices book reviews, May 15
- D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 16
- SusanLovesBooks, May 16
- A Simply Enchanted Life, May 17
- proud to be an autism mom, May 17
- Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 17
- Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18
- Artistic Nobody, May 18 (Spotlight)
- margaret kazmierczak, May 18 (Interview)
- Quiet Quilter, May 19
- Red Headed Book Lady, May 19
- Bigreadersite, May 20
- Christian Author, J.E.Grace, May 20
- Simple Harvest Reads, May 20 (Spotlight)
- Pink Granny’s Journey, May 21
- Vicky Sluiter, May 21
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of a tote, an autographed copy of The Amish Teacher’s Gift, and an autographed copy of Hearts Reunited!! Find out all the details and enter to WIN at The Amish Teacher’s Gift Celebration Tour Giveaway.
Professional Reader Affiliates
I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links supplements the costs of keeping my website up and running, and is very much appreciated!