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When I Was Young in the Mountains (1982)
by Cynthia Rylant
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This was my first time reading this book and I really admired the illustrations. I also liked how it brought excitement to a simpler lifestyle where children were satisfied by play-ing in a muddy swimming hole, shelling beans, and listening to the frogs sing. The narrator explains at the end of the story that being in the mountains was enough for her in life. ( )
In my opinion this is a good book because it teaches children to love what the grow up with including family and their home. In this story a little girl grows up in the mountains with her whole family doing everything together. Such as cooking, eating, church, shopping, and swimming. book gives the feeling of love and a calming nature. This books big message is to push the reader to think about the important things in life like family and the things we do together. I also like this book for its illustrations they are warm and welcoming and the people are always smiling.
The narrator of this beautiful picture-book relates the many things she did and experienced as a young girl in the mountains. Cared for by her loving grandparents - Grandfather a coal miner, Grandmother a homemaker - the girl and her brothers have an idyllic youth, surrounded by the beauties of their mountain home, and the warmth of their small community. Rites of passage, such as baptism in the local stream, and small social interactions, such as buying butter at the local store, are lovingly recalled. In the end, the girl concludes that there is nowhere else she'd rather be...
Originally published in 1982, When I Was Young in the Mountains was based upon author Cynthia Rylant's own childhood growing up in the Appalachian Mountains. It was the first of her many books, which include the Newbery Medal-winning novel Missing May. The story is pitch-perfect, capturing the loving web of relations surrounding the young narrator, while the artwork, which netted illustrated Diane Goode a Caldecott Honor, is just lovely. The style here feels quite different from Goode's more recent, lighthearted watercolor illustrations, and I think I prefer it to that later work. I can certainly see why it won awards! This is one of those rare five-star picture-books for me, one where text and image work seamlessly together, and the reader finishes with a feeling of deep satisfaction. Recommended to anyone looking for picture-books set in the Appalachians, about family life, or just featuring beautiful artwork.
A little girl ans her brother who lived in the mountains with their grandparents, loving her surrounding swimming hole, store, and friend. she realize that she doesn't miss any other place, because at home in the mountains she got everything she ever needed.
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Reminiscences of the pleasures of life in the mountains as a child.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)975.4History and Geography North America Southeastern U.S. West Virginia
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