When I Was Young in the Mountains Paperback – Jan 1 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
When I was young in the mountains, Grandfather came home in the evening covered with the black dust of the coal mine. Now, Cynthia Rylant's When I Was Young in the Mountains, illus. by Diane Goode, a Caldecott Honor book, returns in a 20th-anniversary edition wrapped with a copper-colored commemorative band.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Rylant delights in the simple joys of living with her grandparents in the Appalachian Mountains: fresh cornbread, the swimming hole, bathing in the tin tub, snakes, and the community church. Surrounding all of these memories is the loving relationship with her grandparents. Warmly rendered illustrations complement the lyrical text."--School Library Journal
"An evocative remembrance of the simple pleasures in country living; splashing in the swimming hole, taking baths in the kitchen, sharing family times, each is eloquently portrayed here in both the misty-hued scenes and in the poetic text."--Association for Childhood Education International
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The illustrations were charming and complemented the text beautifully.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on March 1 2003 by River Runner
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. Read morePublished on March 14 2000 by Ron and Pam
I first learned of this book watching Reading Rainbow. It explains ordinary details of life in a way to make them interesting. Read morePublished on April 18 1999