Monday, March 09, 2015


Living in the mountains can be very lonely experience for a twelve-year old when you don’t have a friend. In Francis O”Roark Dowell’s Anybody Shining the reader is introduced to Aire Mae Sparks who right away shares her complaints about the available children who might be friend material that live in her North Carolina mountains…” These mountains are near to spilling over with children, and none of them is worth two cents. They are all too old or too young or just plain disappointing.” While she does have brothers and sisters, they all have friends of their own to occupy their time. 

To solve her problem Aire starts writing to a cousin that she’s never met, the daughter of her mother’s sister who left the mountains to marry a doctor and live in the city. The letters go unanswered but that does not deter their writer who details her summer in the mountains that suddenly is full of new children and a bit of local excitement. A natural born storyteller, Aire gives the reader an intimate glimpse of life in rural North Carolina in the 1920s.

For 5th and  up. 

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