DOWN CUT SHIN CREEK by Kathi Appelt

DOWN CUT SHIN CREEK

The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky
Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A warm tribute to the WPA-funded “book women” (and men) who rode Kentucky’s backwoods in the 1930s and early ’40s, delivering library service to some of this country’s most impoverished citizens. Gathering information from archives, hard-to-find published sources, and interviews, the authors write feelingly of the Pack Horse Library Program’s origins and the obstacles its dedicated employees overcame. These ranged from the chronic scarcity of books and magazines (nearly all of which were donated) to the rigors of riding, generally alone, over rugged terrain in all weathers. Those rigors are made more immediate by a reconstructed account of a rider’s day: rising at 4:30, stopping at isolated hamlets, cabins, and one-room schools to drop off materials and, sometimes, to read aloud, then plodding wearily home through darkness and drizzle. Supported by a generous array of contemporary photos and sturdy lists of sources and Web sites to give interested readers a leg up on further inquiry, this adds unique insights not just to the history of library service, but of Appalachian culture, and of women’s work in general. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-029135-4
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2001




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