She Sang for the Mountains: The Story of Jean Ritchie—Singer Songwriter, Activist

Shannon Hitchcock, illus. by Sophie Page. Reycraft, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4788-7407-2
Jean Ritchie (1922–2015), a singer who sang generationally inherited ballads and heard music everywhere, is centered in this preservationist profile. After an idyllic, isolated musical childhood in Kentucky’s Cumberland Mountains with her parents and 13 siblings, the pale-skinned blonde relocates to New York City with a dulcimer in hand, becoming a music teacher. Introduced to folk singers cum protestors—sketched portraits bear the names of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Carl Sandburg, and Doc Watson—by a Library of Congress song collector, Ritchie takes up protest songwriting to oppose coal mining. Hitchcock uses gently melodious, alliterative prose: “Rumbling cars replaced rambling walks. The roar of radios replaced the strum of strings.” Earthy, dimensional collage art by Page underlines the story’s themes with its organic, handmade feel. A hearty portrait of the “Mother of Folk,” emphasizing the belief that music can create change. Ages 8–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 07/01/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-4788-7406-5
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