I wrote about Hands Up, Don't Shoot a few days ago, but my new book club won't discuss The One by John Marrs until mid-March. I'll tell you more about that book closer to that date.
- The people in the Kentucky hills were isolated from the rest of the world, and I'm isolated from folks because of a pandemic with suggestions that people my age (80) should avoid going anywhere that's not essential.
- Book Woman rode into the hills to bring reading materials so folks would could "escape" into books or learn something new, and my escape into novels about other people's lives is absolutely similar.
- She brought them old newspapers, which rarely got returned because the patrons used them to paper their walls; though I am connected to friends by phone and internet, they've sent me that 234-page resource for seniors to keep me informed.
Now back to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. I rated the book 9.5 of 10 because it held my attention and kept pulling me in, but I didn't give it a ten because I didn't expect so much violence. I'm warning you that parts of it are hard to read. But there are also heart-warming stories, too, like taking time from her deliveries to read to those who didn't know how. As I was looking for online photos, I found this one with an article The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky, which gives a good history of the WPA program. I also found some children's books and put two on hold at my library.
That Book Woman ~ by Heather Hensen, illustrated by David Small, 2008, children's fiction (ages 4-8). This book is read in its entirety by different people on several YouTube videos. Listen to one here and another here. They are only 6-7 minutes long.
Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky ~ by Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer, 2001, children's history (ages 8-12). Here's a book trailer on YouTube that shows a lot of black-and-white photos. If you were a child in the 1930s in the rugged mountains of eastern Kentucky, you would recognize the pack horse librarian immediately as she came up the trail. Her saddlebags would be filled with books, one of which might be for you. Your heart would race, and you'd be so happy that you'd shout, "The book woman's comin'! She's coming down the creek!"