"As a reader, this book helped me relive memories that replayed in my head from when I was a little girl. We live in an age now where small children have no idea that life used to be this way. Instead, we are treated and pampered with toilets that flush automatically rather than using an out house. As a future teacher, I would use this book to give students an idea of how life used to be in the good ole' days and what it really means to appreciate what we have rather than what we don't. Also, this book would be great to teach students about learning and being proud of their culture. " Albany Dial said.
"The author uses When I was young in the mountains (7X) as a way to describe what happened in the "old days". It has lovely description and the illustrations are gorgeous. The young person describes events, family and community that happen in the mountains. I loved the grandma and the grandpa.
"Grandpa sharpened my pencils with his pocket knife. Grandma sometimes shelled beans and sometimes braided my hair."
"I never wanted to go anywhere else in the world, for I was in the mountains. And that was always enough.
I can imagine having my third graders write...When I was young in Mount Vernon, I ....... It could even be a class book where each one write a stanza." Jessica said.
" This is one I want to buy for my kids. " Susan said.
"Reading this (library book, chosen for its cover) on the heels of J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy, was pure serendipity. Based on the author's life, this is a gentle story of a little girl being raised by her coal-mining Grandfather and her okra-frying Grandmother. [Okay, I was dismayed that Rylant didn't use the Appalachian terms, Papaw and Mamaw.]
There is a warm, Little House in the Big Woods feel, but always with an hillbilly twist. For instance, Grandmother threatens a black snake with a hoe (like something Ma Ingalls would do); the next page, they have a photograph taken with the dead snake draped across their necks!
The story is straightforward, describing life without plumbing and electricity without a whiff of self-pity. A discerning adult would sniff poverty but a child only smells hot cocoa from the woodstove. I appreciated the sense of contentment without syrupy sentimentality.
Diane Good's illustrations are warm and inviting. My only complaint is that the illustrations look late eighteenth century instead of mid-twentieth (when the author was born). " Carol said.
" Very sweet children's book about life growing up in Appalachia. " Jennie said.
" This book evokes memories of times gone by in a very poetic manner. It is almost soothing in its repetition of the phrase, "When I was young in the mountains." It invites the reader to appreciate the past and the illustrations help us experience it. " Molly said.
" Any children's story by Rylant is a must-read. This may be my favorite because of it's authenticity to the spirit of the Appalachian people. I love the humorous and gentle art and the sentimental but not sappy writing. Very, very good book. " TC said.
" Sweet, gentle, and wholesome. Could work as an introduction to the Little House books. "When I was young in the mountains,I never wanted to go to the ocean, and I neverwanted to go to the desert. I never wantedto go anywhere else in the world, for I wasin the mountains. And that was always enough." " Rebecca said.