Barn Raising

by Craig Brown

This picture book about a contemporary Amish barn raising opens with lightning striking... read more

This picture book about a contemporary Amish barn raising opens with lightning striking a barn roof on the title page, followed by a wordless double-page spread showing farm animals being shooed from the burning structure. A neighbor houses the livestock while “friends and neighbors helped Jacob’s father clear away the burned barn and lay the foundation for a new one.” The majority of the book is devoted to a one-day barn raising, with helpers arriving in horse-drawn buggies “even before the sun rose over the hills.” The men work steadily all day, building a barn on the new foundation, taking time off only for water breaks and a hearty chicken lunch, served by the women. By the end of an afternoon spent roofing and siding, the barn is finished, just as the sun sets. A concluding note shares additional details about barn raisings such as this one, based on the author’s experience in an Amish community in Iowa. (Ages 5-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003

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