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BOY OF THE DEEPS by Ian Wallace


by Ian Wallace

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7894-2569-6
Publisher: DK Publishing

Wallace tells a story about his grandfather, who worked in the mines. It is a touching tale about the son of a coal miner, who goes with his father for the first time to work underground. “You’ll be a good miner, boy,” says the father. “You have coal in your blood same as me.” His mother tells him, “Take care, my son. You know the deeps is dangerous.” Father and son file into a steel cage and are lowered into the darkness with all the other miners. It is exhausting work, and the boy falls asleep during lunch. While they are working in the afternoon, the ceiling in the mine collapses, knocking them to the ground, and giving them a scare as they dig themselves out. “They headed toward the steel cage, the light, and home. Tomorrow they would go down into the deeps again, for they were miners and that was their job.” Wallace’s simple and direct language gives the story power; the textured and shadowy illustrations, as still as photographs, convey what it was like to grow up long ago, when a boy went to do a man’s work, and toiled willingly alongside his Da. (Picture book. 6-11)