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When I Was Young in the Mountains Paperback – May 10 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (May 10 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140548750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140548754
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 19.8 x 0.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #116,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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When I was young in the mountains, Grandfather came home in the evening covered with the black dust of a coal mine. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird on Feb. 15 2004
Format: Paperback
Author Cynthia Rylant has written a tender story of her childhood days, living in the Appalachian Mountains not so long ago. Accompanied by the excellent illustrator Diane Goode, the book is a straightforward look at life amongst the best-known American mountain folk. Scenes of daily life include everything from needing a brave adult to accompany you out into the dark scary night (on your way to the outhouse) to getting baptized in the local swimming hole.
The book is remarkable for its lack of overt sentimentality. Some might disagree with me, but I was struck by how this book did not fail to note the less than desirable elements of living in the wilderness. Swimming in a swimming hole of your own might be fun. Just watch out for snakes. And baths required an awful amount of work. Pumping the water. Carrying it to the house. Heating it. Goode's delicate illustrations accompany the text of this story perfectly. If Rylant says that the proprietors of the local store (Mr. & Mrs. Crawford) were identical, then gosh darn it, the people look identical. And I especially adored the moment when the narrator's grandmother kills a big nasty snake in the woods. The next picture displays the narrator, her brother, and two other red-headed childred posing sheepishly for a traveling photographer, gigantic dead snake draped across their heads.
I cannot think of many other book that take place in Appalachia. And I certainly can't think of any that are better than this. A sweet good-hearted story, "When I Was Young In the Mountains" understands what it meant to live a difficult life with pleasure and human warmth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Collins on May 24 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book to my children (then ages 3 and 6) and they both loved it. I always look for stories about people who live or lived differently than we do today to help my children realize how EASY we have it today. They were especially interested (and amused by) the "johnny house" (my son still paraphrases the part about the child promissing not to have more than one serving of okra again after having to make repeated trips to the johnny house at night).
The illustrations were charming and complemented the text beautifully.
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Format: Paperback
This is a magical book for those of us who remember grandmothers who were just like this. For me, a nostalgic evocation of time spent years ago in the West Virginia mountains with my grandmother doing the very things that are mentioned in this book. A very special book.
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Format: Paperback
Cynthia Rylant's enduring favorite "When I Was Young in the Mountains" is the tale of her own childhood growing up in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. The gently repetitive text details her everyday life, from swimming in a swimming hole (even if there were snakes!) to taking a bath to drinking cocoa made by her grandmother. Each page starts off with, "When I was young in the mountains . . . " By the final page, we see that not only did Ms. Rylant appreciate her low-tech, memory-making childhood, but she wouldn't have traded it for anything.
Diane Goode's softly colored illustrations beautifully dovetail with the text, whether she's showing a river baptism, a nighttime trip to the "johnny-house" after too much fried okra, or a stint at the water pump. It's a lovely ode to the simple life, and to being happy with what you have instead of worrying about what you don't have.
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By Ron and Pam on March 15 2000
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book was truly a joyous experience for me. I grew up in southern West Virginia and spent many days with my grandmother at her house out in the hills. Ms. Rylant's book reminded me so much of my own childhood! This book is beautifully written and illustrated, and brings to the reader a wonderful feeling of warmth and friendliness. Her descriptions are true-to-life, heartfelt, and easily understood by young children.
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