THE MINER’S DAUGHTER by Gretchen Morgan Laskas


Age Range: 12 & up
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Sixteen-year-old Willa Lowell lives in “a world of ashy grays”—trees gone, the earth bare, pits smoldering and houses stacked up on the hills like rungs of a ladder and blackened by coal dust. She knows there’s a beautiful world beyond her desolate one; she has seen it from walks up the mountain with her brother Ves, looking across the valley to the next mountain over. And Miss Grace, the new lady at the Mission, welcomes Willa to her library, a clean, well-lighted place full of books. It is Miss Grace and her books that lead Willa beyond her narrow world to new hope in Arthurdale, a planned community championed by Eleanor Roosevelt to offer hope in the midst of the Depression. The 1932 West Virginia setting is beautifully realized, historical details never overwhelming a story that succeeds in putting a human face on poverty, prejudice and dreams. Rooted in Laskas’s own family history, this is a fine coming-of-age story and an ode to libraries that teachers and librarians will love. (author’s note) (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 2007
ISBN: 1-4169-1262-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2006