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Child of the Mountains by Marilyn Sue Shank
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Child of the Mountains

by Marilyn Sue Shank

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The best book I have read in some time. This first time author has my highest regards. I would like very much to visit West Virginia and have been inspired to learn to play the dulcimer. ( )
  ThePageturners | Mar 27, 2014 |
Child of the Mountains by Marilyn Sue Shank is a wonderful book narrated by a young girl from the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. It's written in her southern dialect, but that only adds to the richness of the story. Set in the '50s, the hard mountain life is shown. Lydia's immediate family is taken away from her through death and jail. She goes to live with her aunt and uncle who pay little attention to her, and supply her with barely what she needs.

Lydia tells her story, remembering the past and updating the present. Through all the sorrowful things that happen, we see her steely resolution to survive and save her mother. I wish the mother's personality had been fleshed out more. Gran and Lydia's brother BJ were good strong characters, easy to connect with.

This is a beautiful southern story by a debut author. I can't wait to see what she writes next! ( )
  NCRainstorm | Mar 24, 2014 |
Child of the Mountains – A Good First Book!



This is a story about Lydia Hawkins born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. After her Mama is taken to prison Lydia ’s life is turned upside down. She has to move from the home that she has grown to love into the home of her Uncle William and Aunt Ethel Mae’s. Lydia feels she is a burden on her Uncle and Aunt and tries her best to please them.



Lydia had to change schools when she went to live with her Uncle and Aunt and is not made to feel welcome by her peers. She is teased and bullied. Lydia tries her best to keep her distance from the mean girls. After pushing one of the girls down because of the girl’s remarks about her Mama, Lydia is made to stay after school by her teacher Mr. Hinkle. Mr. Hinkle knows that Lydia is picked on and takes her under his wing. He is able to get the story from Lydia why her Mama is in prison and what really happened on the dreadful day that Lydia was removed from her home to go live with her Uncle and Aunt. Mr. Hinkle’s fiancé happens to be a lawyer and she listens to Lydia ’s story and feels she can help get her Mama out of prison.



This book was a good read. I felt so sorry for Lydia and all the secrets she had to keep. The author did an excellent job of portraying the strengths that Lydia possessed. Ones that even Lydia wasn’t aware of. My emotions went through the gamut. I felt anger, sadness, and felt Lydia ’s disappointments and pain. I wanted to take this little girl into my arms and hold her. I also laughed at some of the antics that Lydia came up with.



I thought that the author did a great job capturing the dialect of the mountain people.



This is the author’s first novel. I hope to read more of her books in the future.



I wish to thank the author for providing me with this book to read and review. The opinions are mine alone. ( )
  passionforbooks | Sep 27, 2012 |
This story is both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. Lydia Hawkins is a young woman (child really), that has been forced to see a lot of adversity in her young years. She doesn't really see much of the poverty and hard-work as anything other than routine until the death of her brother. Even after this event, Lydia strives to keep going strong. Ms. Shank has written a beautiful story of mountain living in the West Virginia hills in the early 1950s. There are no apologies made, nor are any needed in my not-so-humble opinion, for the speech patterns and life habits of mountain folk. Although there is prejudice prevalent for the poor and mountain folk, Ms. Shank presents a story filled with characters that any West Virginian can be proud to read.

Although written for younger readers, this is a story that can be read and enjoyed by readers of all ages.

(On a more personal note, I was filled with pride to read Ms. Shank's notes about her fourth grade school teacher, Mrs. Bette Nowling, my aunt. She even states that she used my aunt as the guide for the character of Mrs. Nowling in her story. Regrettably my aunt died before being able to read this book, but I'm sure she would have loved this story as much as Ms. Shank's childhood stories.) ( )
  BookDivasReads | Jul 19, 2012 |
You probably have guessed by now that I’m a sucker for novels set in the Appalachian Mountains. It should be no surprise that I jumped on Marilyn Sue Shank’s debut novel, Child of the Mountains, since it’s set in the 1953 West Virginia mountains. This heartwarming and heart-wrenching novel is intended for tweens and young teens but I think it’s going to appeal to some older teens and adults as well.

“These women of Appalachia, they didn’t survive. They prevailed.” Margaret Hatfield, West Virginia History Film Project

Read the rest of my review at http://popcornreads.com/?p=3567 ( )
  PopcornReads | Apr 10, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385740794, Hardcover)

"Unfolds in pitch-perfect regional dialect. . . . For fans of Ruth White's and Kerry Madden's Appalachian-inspired fiction."--Kirkus Reviews

It's about keeping the faith.

Growing up poor in 1953 in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia doesn't bother Lydia Hawkins. She treasures her tight-knit family. There's her loving mama, now widowed; her whip-smart younger brother, BJ, who has cystic fibrosis; and wise old Gran. But everything falls apart after Gran and BJ die and mama is jailed unjustly. Suddenly Lydia has lost all those dearest to her.
Moving to a coal camp to live with her uncle William and aunt Ethel Mae only makes Lydia feel more alone. She is  ridiculed at her new school for her outgrown homemade clothes and the way she talks, and for what the kids believe her mama did. And to make matters worse, she discovers that her uncle has been keeping a family secret—about her.
If only Lydia, with her resilient spirit and determination, could find a way to clear her mother's name. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:20 -0400)

In the early 1950s, Lydia Hawkins has grown up poor in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia with her widowed mother, brother BJ, who has cystic fibrosis, and her Gran, but when Gran and BJ die and her mother is jailed unjustly, Lydia must try to remain strong and clear her mother's name, even after she learns a shocking secret from the uncle with whom she is sent to live.… (more)

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