Mist Over the Mountains: Appalachia and Its People

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9780395735695: Mist Over the Mountains: Appalachia and Its People

The idea of Appalachia is elusive - is it a people, a place? It's actually both and more, a mountain region of remarkable beauty inhabited by people whose past was formed by its hills and hollows. Pioneer days in harsh and often isolated mountain homesteads demanded determination and ingenuity, and early Appalachians rose to the challenge, doggedly carving lives for themselves out of the forests and farming the thin mountain soil. Their spirit survives in traditions handed down through the generations and in crafts still proudly practiced today.

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About the Author:

Raymond Bial is an acclaimed photoessayist for children. Four of his books were chosen as Notable Books in the Field of Social Studies by the NCSS. He lives in Urbana, Illinois, with his wife abd children.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4 Up. The scope of this photo-essay is broader than that of Bial's The Underground Railroad (1995); Shaker Home (1994); Amish Home (1993); and Portrait of a Farm Family (1995, all Houghton), and the resulting portrait is no more than a basic sketch. The aspects of Appalachia that give it texture?its heartrendingly beautiful topography split by strip mines and used-car dumps and small shacks, its merry music, its humorous folktales, its generous residents?all are touched upon but are never quite given life. Readers want to hear the stories of "incredible talkers" like Gurney Norman, who "grew up in a family of incredible talkers, and I myself am an incredible talker" rather than read that "Mountain people are known for their ability to preach and tell stories." The excellent-quality, full-color photos offer some gorgeous glimpses of the area and its inhabitants but not a real sense of the landscape. For a deeper look at a vibrant way of life, put on some bluegrass, read Cynthia Rylant's Appalachia (Harcourt, 1991) or one of Jo Carson's poems from Stories I Ain't Told Nobody Yet (Orchard, 1989) and gaze at Bial's photos.?Kathleen Whalin, Greenwich Country Day School, CT
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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