Cover of Raising Yoder's Barn by Jane Yolen

Raising Yoder’s Barn

A long time ago, my editor at Little Brown sent me someone’s art work asking me to write a book about barns for that artist. I couldn’t. But one day I thought about the barn-raising scene in the movie “Witness” and remembered all the wonderful barns we used to see as we drove on weekend holidays through Pennsylvania Dutch country. That’s when I began to research Amish barns and barn-building, and wrote the story of a little Amish boy who wants to be big enough to help out. The original artist was all wrong for this book. But Bernie Fuchs, a painter in the Great Masters style, was perfect. His people live on the pages, his drenched earth tones anchor the story. The book was a Junior Literary Guild selection and one of the International Reading Association‘s Teachers’ Choices for 1999, Primary category. It is also on the list for the South Carolina Book Awards for 2000-2001 and has been nominated for The North Carolina Children’s Book Award (junior book category), a program for the children of North Carolina sponsored by the North Carolina Association of School Librarians and the Children’s Services Sections of the North Carolina Library It was nominated for the 2001 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation award.Association.

What reviewers have said:

  • “Poetic language and stunning artwork.” School Library Journal, starred review.
  • “The lush oil paintings move the narrative from many perspectives.” New York Times Book Review.
  • “A fine story, finely limned and told, with much to teach.” Booklist
  • “A celebration of the Amish spirit of community summoned for a one-day barn raising. ,,, Yolen frames Matthew’s narrative in rhythmic, literary cadences that give the event a ritualistic air. Fuchs applies paint so thinly that the texture of the canvas becomes part of each scene, while the dominant colors are stately, opaque red-browns.” — Kirkus Reviews
  • “Luminous oil paintings at every turn of the page visually dramatize the story-showing the clothing, buildings, horses, and wagons of rural Amish life. the literary and artistic depth this full, rich book may evoke children’s responses to universal issues: growning up, belonging within a community, and living close to the earth.” — The Five Owls

See the review from Rambles – a cultural arts magazine (on the Web).

Available in the Little Brown paperback.