For Children

Bial, Raymond. Mist Over the Mountains. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. 1997.

Bial presents Appalachia in this pictorial essay, explaining that though the name encompasses mountain ranges from northern Alabama to Canada, the southern region is most commonly meant. The book celebrates southern Appalachian geography and culture, particularly the settlers. Bial reflects on negative perspectives about the people of the region. It is written as a continuous monologue without headings, with accompanying photographs illustrating the culture and setting of the southern Appalachian region. The photo captions often allude to more details than the text.

Bruchac, Joseph, The First Native Strawberries. New York, NY: Dial Books. 1993.

Bruchac retells this Cherokee tale after conferring with Mary Goingback Chiltoskey. He gives an account of how the creation of the first strawberries helped to instill harmony and kindness between the feuding first man and woman. The moral premise concerns a struggle between duty and the pursuit of bliss, as each of the characters acts out of their convictions, thus creating a quarrel that drives them to separate paths. The book contains more imagery than text with lush colored drawings and paintings on every page.

Bushyhead, Bannon. Yonder Mountain. New York, NY: Cavendish. 2002.

Bushyhead’s retelling of a Cherokee myth is introduced with a declaration of the importance of continuing oral traditions. He points out that this tale is one not included in a popular collection of legends gathered and written by James Mooney in 1900, and so it is being retold along with translations/pronunciations of important Cherokee words. The premise of the myth concerns the continuation of lifestyle and traditions of the Cherokee as candidates are put to the test to succeed the present chief. The images are very colorful and rich and the text is minimal.

Crutchfield, James A. A Primer of Handicrafts in the Southern Appalachians. Nashville, TN: Williams, 1976.

This elementary level primer describes southern Appalachian culture and handicrafts by defining various tools and resources used in craft making, as well as describing daily life during the craft revival period. The use of illustrations, large print, and simple language makes this book ideal for teaching young children about the Craft Revival period.

Cwiklik, Robert. Sequoyah and the Cherokee Alphabet. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett Press. 1989.

Part of a biography series created by Alvin Josephy, this book is appropriate for middle school readers. Cwiklik offers a mostly textual account of Sequoyah, the creator of the only written Native American alphabet. Cwikilik explains that Sequoyah created a syllabary based on the phonetics of spoken Cherokee, though the syllabary only served as an alphabet for the written language, not as a pronunciation guide for spoken language. The book is divided chronologically, detailing the history that was contemporaneous with the development of the alphabet

DeAngelis, T. The Cherokee: Native Basket Weavers. Mankato, MN: Blue Earth Books. 2003.

The “America’s First People” series presents this book written by DeAngelis who consulted with Chief Walking Bear Wilson of the Amonsoquath Cherokee tribe located in Missouri. DeAngelis highlights most aspects of the Cherokee culture in just 30 pages, dedicating two pages to each aspect. The book emphasizes the traditions upheld today. Basket weaving, as one of the prominent practices, is the main focus. As a closing topic, several activities for elementary school aged children are offered. The text is accompanied by drawings, photographs from the past and present, a glossary of Cherokee words, and resources for further learning.

Dominic, Gloria. First Woman and Strawberry: A Cherokee Legend. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Communications. 1996.

As a part of the “Art of the North American Indian Lore and Legends” series, Dominic offers a retelling of a Cherokee tale and offers insight into the history and culture of the tribe. The story begins with an introduction of a present-day girl and her grandmother. They tell the story of the first man and woman who resolved a quarrel after relishing the finding of the first patch of strawberries found on Earth. The writing demonstrates how oral tradition is carried on. It is accompanied by brightly colored illustrations.

Gibbons, Gayle. The Pottery Place. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987.

Gibbons presents the fundamentals of the pottery profession with a story about a pottery studio set in a rural community. The author writes and illustrates this book for the third grade and higher reading level. The story begins with the arrival of new materials to make fresh clay, continues with the process of making and firing pots, and concludes with the products ready for sale. The book identifies vocabulary words pertinent to the understanding of pottery by labeling items in the illustrations and providing definitions in the prose. The book concludes with instructions on how to make three types of hand built pots.

Hall, Francie. Appalachian ABC’s. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press. 1998.

In this book for young children, each letter of the alphabet is identified by a unique quality of Appalachian living and its geographical characteristics. The descriptions of Appalachian life contain both modern and traditional aspects as they are carried on, framed with labeled flora particular to the mountain chain. Along with places, activities and characteristics identifiably southern Appalachian, there is a sense of the sharing of moral values as traditions are practiced in contemporary times.

Jones, Loyal. Appalachian Values. Ashland, KY: Jesse Stuart Foundation, 1994.

Loyal Jones focuses on the positive values shared by the people of the southern Appalachian region. He proposes a positive view of the region to young readers as a challenge to the criticism that questions the integrity of its inhabitants. The readers he hopes to reach are those of Appalachian residence. The text was originally written to accompany photographs taken earlier by Warren Brunner, a photographer who has documented Appalachian culture for 40 years. A majority of the images in the book were taken in Kentucky, where Brunner and Jones both live; other images were gathered from North Carolina and Tennessee.

McNeer, M. Y. The Story of the Southern Highlands. New York, NY: Harper Brothers. 1945.

This book contains a mixture of Cherokee and pioneer tales of life in the southern Appalachian region. It tends to glorify the establishment of the European settlers and downplays the hardships of the Native Americans already in residence.

Pack, Linda Hager. A is for Appalachia!: the Alphabet Book of Appalachian Heritage. Prospect, KY: Harmony House, 2002.

This book defines an aspect of southern Appalachian culture for every letter of the alphabet. Each letter is accompanied by watercolor illustrations. The book begins with a letter to the reader, briefly addressing the author’s heritage in West Virginia, and goes on to prepare the reader for a journey into the region’s distant past, highlighting the experiences of the European settlers. The facing page has a map illustration appropriate for young readers that displays the mid Atlantic and southern Appalachian states. A glossary follows the illustrated alphabet, and the book closes with a resource page for further study of southern Appalachia.

Press, Petra. The Cherokee. Minneapolis, MN: Compass Point Books. 2001

Press, the sole writer for the “First Reports” series, offers the telling of the Cherokee experience. Most appropriate for elementary school student study. Press discusses the life of Eastern and Western bands of the tribe, including drawings and photographs that illustrate important facts. It tends to downplay the history of struggle between the U.S. government and the tribe. The book concludes with defined vocabulary words and resources for further study.

Toone, Betty L. Appalachia. New York, NY: Franklin Watts, Inc. 1972.

Toone presents the geographical and historical background of settlements in Appalachia. The book is written for high school reading levels. Toone offers a forum for critical investigation of the region, particularly concerning the cultural groups that settled in the mountain ranges of the Appalachians. The book is presented in three parts. The first part offers information about the geography and geology of the Appalachian chain. The second part discusses the distinct cultural groups that moved in from other American settlements and from outside of the country. The third part gives biographies of three children from different socio-economic backgrounds, all identifiably Appalachian by practice of traditions. There is little mention of the Native Americans’ existence other than a reference to the Cherokee Indians.

Murphy, Michael. The Appalachian Dulcimer Book. St. Clairsville, OH: Folksay Press. 1976.

Murphy’s book focuses on an introduction to the dulcimer instrument. It features a brief history relating the relationship to other instruments from which it is considered a possible descendant. There is a section discussing early dulcimer construction by southern Appalachian makers. The second part of the book explains playing the instruments, providing an understanding of the basics for beginners. The remaining bulk of the book contains sheet music and guidance for playing. Murphy’s writing is accompanied by photographs, including several created by Doris Ulmann. The book maintains an understanding of the instrument as it was appreciated and played within the years of the Craft Revival period and up to the folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s.

Wigginton, Elliot. A Foxfire Christmas: Appalachian Memories and Traditions. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press. 1996.

This book is the second incarnation of a project produced by former and current students of the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School and the Foxfire program. The first edition was originally written as a 64 page greeting card, but then became available to the public. The book is divided by several elements of the holiday as it is celebrated in the southern Appalachian region. Each chapter comprises accounts given by regional residents concerning their memories and continuing traditions tied to Christmas preparations, recipes, gifts, anecdotes, humor, and revelry both shared and particular to a given family.

Bibliography prepared by Jada Hansen.
Annotations written by Jason Woolf and Patrick Velde.
Edited by Bob Strauss and Ann Hallyburton.