Starting children out early in their respect for nature is important, and one of the best ways to teach children anything is through a love of reading. Here are two new children’s books for you to read to your kids (or they can read to themselves). One shares a tale of environmental activism and the other a tale of outdoor adventure.
Saving Annie’s Mountain is a new children’s book that follows four school children to a mountaintop removal coal mining protest at Blair Mountain, WV, where they meet an elderly woman named Annie who tells them about her childhood experiences in the area and its history. She recalls her memories about the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor dispute in American history, when over 10,000 miners banded together in an attempt to unionize. Along the way, the children learn about the harm that mountaintop removal coal mining brings to the area and the positive impact that speaking up about an issue can have.
A group of four home-schooled children, Lillie Gill-Newton (age 9), Maryam Keeley (age 11), Samantha Stewart (age 11), and Nicholas Mokhiber (age 13) wrote the book with the guidance of Leslie Milbourne, an educator at Wind Dance Farm and Earth Education Center in Morgan County, WV. The children were taking supplementary courses in history, writing, and science at Wind Dance Farm when they wrote the book.
“The book really stems from the dearth of information on the issue of mountaintop coal removal aimed at young students,” says publisher Gary Stewart. “So, mainly out of frustration, Leslie and four of the kids at Wind Dance Farm decided to create their own take on the subject, hoping that it would be of help to others in the same predicament.”
Saving Annie’s Mountain is published by Cold Run Books, Children’s Picture Book, Hard cover, $18.99
In The Adventures of Bubba Jones: Time Traveling Through the Great Smoky Mountains, readers follow young Bubba Jones, his sister Hug-a-Bug, and their grandfather Papa Lewis on an adventure through trails and time.
“The Appalachians have something that feels old,” says author Jeff Alt. “I’ve hiked out West and various other places around the world, and my heart still brings me back to the Appalachians.”
Alt set the first book in the Bubba Jones adventure series in the Smoky Mountains because of their status as the most visited park in the country. Alt’s own experiences with through-hiking the Appalachian Trail and overall interest in the outdoors inspired him to write children’s books. “I learned about eight weeks into my AT adventure, after my schedule of domestic society had left my mind, that the woods are the most awesome thinking room on Earth,” he says.
The Adventure of Bubba Jones is published by Beaufort Books, Ages 8-14, Paperback, $9.99