Do you know why I love to read so much and why I’m so passionate about reading with kids? Because every once in a while, I will pick up a book that I can connect with and that inspires me to tell stories similar to the stories the book tells. When I Was Young in the Mountains is one of those books. Throughout the entire week, I’ve been driving down the road or taking a walk to the mailbox, and all of a sudden an image from my childhood will pop into my mind. Just last night I was driving home from work and I remembered sitting on the front porch with my Grandma Daisy stringing beans just like Cynthia Rylant did with her grandmother in the book. Then I started thinking about all of the canning Grandma did every year and how much I loved her canned tomato juice, beets, and green beans and how much I didn’t care for her pickles. Then I remembered how she loved her garden and took such meticulous care of it, her lawn, and her house. The memories just kept flooding in, and I found myself smiling with a little tear in my eye as I remembered this very special person in my life who is no longer here.
That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about making connections with books. The more we can connect with characters and stories, the more we want to read more and learn more. I found myself on Amazon last night looking for other picture books about Appalachia because I want to share these memories with my daughter, and I want her to know where I came from.
If you were raised in Appalachia, When I Was Young in the Mountains will be sure to spark memories of people and stories from your childhood that you can share with your children. It’s a short, simple, and heartwarming book that is an excellent jumping off point for making real-world connections and sharing stories you may have forgotten.