AppLit Links: Appalachian Authors and Illustrators










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See also AUTHOR INDEX to pages on Appalachian authors and illustrators in this web site, and Appalachian Folktales: Background Resources on One Author, Illustrator, Storyteller, Dramatist, or Filmmaker (which lists some individuals not on this page who have produced just one or two Appalachian folktale adaptations). Background Resources on Appalachian Children's Literature is a general bibliography, mainly of print resources. AppLit's emphasis is on literature for children and young adults, but some authors who write for adults are included as well. AppLit was begun in 2000 and it is much more common now for authors to have their own web sites, and Facebook pages, where they give links to online reviews and interviews. lists many author and illustrator links.


Adams, Sheila Kay

Sheila Kay Adams. Web site of Madison County, NC storyteller, musician, and author.

Jim and Music and Stories of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Novels, storytelling recordings and songs by Sheila Kay Adams, music by Jim Adams. Madison County, NC.

Anderson, Belinda

The website of writer Belinda Anderson. Includes information on the WV writer's fiction, as well as articles she has written.

Angleberger, Tom

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. In Anita Silvey's Children's Book-a-Day Almanac. Nov. 5, 2011. Short discussion of the book with images, recommendations of similar books, and comment by blog readers, written for World Origami Days.

Appelt, Kathi

Kathi Appelt: Poet, Author, Teacher. Web site of the author of Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky, and other books for children and adolescents

Smith, Cynthia Leitech. "Interview with Children's and YA Book Author Kathi Appelt" and "The Story Behind the Story: Kathi Appelt on Down Cut Shin Creek." In Children's and YA Author Cynthia Leitich Smith. 2001.

Arnow, Harriette Simpson

The Dollmaker. Feb. 2000 selection at Book Club @ KET. Gives links to information on the book, reviews and criticism, interview with Arnow, transcript of radio discussion, interview with Arnow scholar Sandra Ballard, other links on Arnow and the book and film adaptation.

The Dollmaker. Interview with reporter Al Smith in 1979, for the Murray State University television production Kentucky Profiles. In RealVideo format.

Harriet Arnow Interview, 1976. In Documenting the American South. University of North Carolina Libraries. 2004- . Oral Histories section. Includes abstract of interview.

Awiakta, Marilou - see References and Links sections of AppLit Bibliography on Awiakta.


Baldacci, David

David Baldacci. Bestselling Virginia author's web site. Wish You Well is his novel about two children in southwestern Virginia, based on family history. Baldacci and his wife Michelle Baldacci support family literacy through their Wish You Well Foundation.

Baldacci, David. "Origins of Wish You Well." 2001. Essay available as pdf. at author's web site.

O'Brien, C. "David Baldacci (1960– )." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 30 July 2014. Includes a photograph, timeline, and bibliography. The author is a native of Richmond. "For his sixth novel, the family drama Wish You Well (2000), Baldacci researched his family history and his mother's life growing up in the coal-mining mountains of southwest Virginia." His novels for young readers include Freddie and the French Fries: Fries Alive! (2005) and Freddie and the French Fries: The Mystery of Silas Finklebean (2006).

Wish You Well. Dir. Darnell Martin. Life Out Loud Films, 2013. DVD Phase 4 Films, 2015. 100 min. Actors Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, Josh Lucas. Film based on Baldacci's novel about two children in southwestern VA. "A tragic accident forces twelve-year old Louisa Mae and her younger brother Oz to move from New York City to live with their great grandmother on a small farm in Virginia. Once Lou and Oz finally adjust to their new home, their family is threatened to be torn apart again when a coal company tries to steal their land. Now, Lou must team-up with lawyer Cotton Longfellow, to fight for their land, their home and their future" (WorldCat summary).

Bell, Cece

Cece Bell. Web site of author/illustrator from Roanoke, Virginia.

"'El Deafo': How a Girl Turned her Disability into a Superpower." All Things Considered. NPR. 14 Dec. 2014. Interview by Arun Rath with author-illustrator Cece Bell, available in print and audio with sample illustrations on the NPR web site.

"Top 2014 Mighty Girl Books for Teens and Tweens." A Mighty Girl. 22 Jan. 2015. Blog entry includes Bell's El Deafo. A Mighty Girl site founded by Carolyn Danckaert and Aaron Smith in Washington, D. C., 2012-.

Belton, Sandra

In Their Own Country: Sandra Belton. Based on WV Public Broadcasting program, 2003. With overview of life and career and interview excerpts. See also the Featured Books page. 

Sandra Belton. Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, Guide to Resources for the Study of West Virginia Authors and Appalachian Literary Traditions. West Virginia Wesleyan College. Biography, bibliography, summary of critical responses.

Benedict, Pinckney

Brosi, George. "Pinckney Benedict, A Gleeful Writer." Appalachian Heritage Winter 2010. Available as pdf. Benedict is featured author in this issue, with other items by and about him.

In Their Own Country: Pinckney Benedict. Based on WV Public Broadcasting program, 2003. With overview of life and career, and interview excerpts. See also the Featured Books page. 

Pinckney Benedict. Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, Guide to Resources for the Study of West Virginia Authors and Appalachian Literary Traditions. West Virginia Wesleyan College. Biography, bibliography, summary of critical responses.

Pinckney Benedict. WV Center for the Book.

Pinckney Benedict. Author information on Press 53 publisher web site.

Review of Town Smokes by Gilly Paget in The Richmond Review web site ("UK's first literary magazine to be published exclusively on the World Wide Web")

The Rumpus Interview with Pinckney Benedict by Kyle Minor, 7 July 2010 (in an online magazine on culture).

Smith, Judie. "Pinckney Benedict." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 25 September 2012. Web. 06 December 2014.

Town Smokes. Information on Benedict's first book of short stories for adults (1987), set mainly in rural WV, is given at Ontario Review Press and Learning about Mountains web site.

Berry, Wendell

Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky. A web site by Brother Tom Murphy with many links and lists of resources by and about Berry.

Wendell Berry by Angela Strunk - essay and bibliography in KYLIT, 1997.

The Memory of Old Jack and Nathan Coulter were selections in 1999 and 2000 at Book Club @ KET, which gives links to transcripts of radio discussions and many other resources on the books.

Biggers, Jeff

Jeff Biggers. Web site of an author of award-winning and provocative books about Appalachia, including The United States of Appalachia.

Birdseye, Tom 

Tom Birdseye: Children's Book Author. Birdseye's site includes background on himself and pages on each of his picture books and novels for children, giving brief excerpts with illustrations, summaries, review excerpts, and background on the writing of the book. The site also includes a page of tips for writers, a page for teachers and librarians which lists curriculum themes for each of his books, and information on author visits.

Bishop, Maggie

Maggie Bishop, Author. Bishop's web site with reviews and other information on her Appalachian novels.

Bradby, Marie

Marie Bradby. Author's web site.

Marie Bradby. Pages on her life and books (including More Than Anything Else—about Booker T. Washington) at

"If You Were a Bird." Poem in Poetry for Children, with photos of birds and fun facts about Bradby. Blog by Sylvia Vardell. Friday, Apr. 23, 2010.

Buck, Pearl S.

Pearl S. Buck. "This site was produced and written by Peter Conn, Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography.  These pages were designed by Peter Conn with Steven Morgan Friedman as part of an independent study on Pearl Buck. Alex Edelman has provided invaluable multimedia help."  While last modified 11 August 96, this is a fairly comprehensive site about Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker Buck, born June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. 

Pearl S. Buck (1892 - 1973). Photograph and biography at National Women's Hall of Fame web site, with references.

The United States of Appalachia by Jeff Biggers (see above) discusses Pearl Buck as an important Appalachian author.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubacker

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. The author's novel Halfway to the Sky is set on the Appalachian trail and in Bristol, TN.

Byars, Betsy

Betsy Byars. Byars' web site includes a series of autobiographical cartoons and comments, answers to questions about her life and work, family photos, and writing tips. The Books section gives summaries and background on the writing of her books, including those set in Appalachia such as The Summer of the Swans (winner of the Newbery Medal) and After the Goat Man. Byars is a native of NC and former resident of WV.

Betsy Byars. Article by Carol Hurst, originally published 1996. Carol Hurst Children's Literature Site. Site contains many links to books and Lesson Plans. 

Betsy Byars Teacher Resource File. Internet School Library Media Center, James Madison University. Links to Bibliographies, Lesson Plans, Criticism, and ERIC Resources. 

Byars, Betsy. Overview of life and work, with autobiographical sketch (1972), excerpted from The Junior Authors and Illustrated Series, pub. by H. W. Wilson.


Carson, Jo

Article on Daytrips production. Theatre News. The Ensemble Theatre. Houston, Texas, 16 June 2004.

Barber, Rex. "Jo Carson, ETSU Grad and Nationally Known Writer, Storyteller, Dies at 64." Johnson City Press 21 Sept. 2011.

Burnham, Linda Frye. "I Can Write a River: An interview with Jo Carson." Community Arts Reading Room. Art in the Public Interest. Dec. 1999.

Jo Carson. Page by La Verne University, Department of Theatre Arts, 1997.

Jo Carson Assignment. English 207, Appalachian Literature. Ferrum College, Fall 2006. Lists her work in several anthologies.

"Jo Carson's Speech on the Occasion of ROOTS' 35th Anniversary." Transcript of speech by a founding member of Alternat ROOTS, 2011 (shortly before Carson died of cancer).

Jo Carson, 2002 Award of Honor. East Tennessee State University.

"Josephine Catron Carson. October 9, 1946 – September 19, 2011." Obituary and 20-minute video of Carson reading "a new piece," "The Run to the River Styx," which describes her experience with cancer.

McCullough, Amanda. Jo Carson. Virginia Tech Appalachian Literature course, 1999. Essay with bibliography. (link not functioning 9/20/11)

Men of Their Time (play about Cherokee history) and What Sweet Lips Can Do. The Historic Orchard at Altapass, Little Switzerland, NC. Description of two plays by Carson.

Carver, Bill

Branch Water Tales and Some More Branch Water Tales and When Someday Comes. Excerpts from Carver's three books of stories given on Carver's web site Andrews, NC. The stories are told in dialect "through the voice of a young boy (Quill Vance)." Also recommended at Learning about Mountains web site.

Cather, Willa

Howsare, E. "Willa Cather (1873–1947)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 15 June 2014.  Includes a photograph, timeline, and bibliography. Cather was born in the Shenandoah Valley, VA, in 1873 and her family moved west in 1883. She is best known for fiction about the Midwest, but "her final novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940), ... is considered to be in part autobiographical—the novel's slave-owning family and their abolitionist daughter were all based on Cather's maternal relatives—and her writing required a return to Virginia near the end of her life.... Sapphira and the Slave Girl is perhaps one of Cather's best and most overlooked novels. Set in and around her native Winchester, Virginia, in the years before the American Civil War (1861–1865), it describes the unhappy marriage of Sapphira and Henry Colbert and the evil to which Sapphira is happy to expose her slave Nancy in order to achieve her own ends. With Henry's help, his daughter Rachel arranges for Nancy's escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad. The incident is based on a similar incident in Cather's own family, in which her grandmother Boak helped a slave escape in 1856."

Caudill, Rebecca

Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Award. The Illinois award "was developed to encourage children and young adults to read for personal satisfaction." Who Was Rebecca Caudill? gives a photo and overview of the writer's life (1899-1985, native of Harlan County, KY).

Beulah Catherine Campbell, M. A., Professor Emerita of Elementary Education. Appalachian State Univ. "In 1964, Rebecca Caudill dedicated her book, Pocketful of Cricket to Campbell. Miriam Mason included her as the character 'Miss Aberdeen,' an elementary school teacher, in her book Katie Kittenheart."  The Beulah Campbell Collection of Children's Literature Illustration at the Appalachian Cultural Museum contains illustrations (2 reproduced online) from Contrary Jenkins by Rebecca Caudill and James Ayars Holt, Reinhart & Winston. New York. 1969. 

Rebecca Caudill Papers, 1947-74. Finding Aid. Children's Literature Research Collection, University of Minnesota. "The collection contains production material for seven titles published between 1947 and 1974. It consists mainly of manuscript material with one item shelved with illustrative material, a scrapbook pertaining to the title Come Along. There is also manuscript material for a title 'Passage to Caintuck' not verified as published."

Famous Kentuckians web site by a 4th-grade class in Louisville includes a page on Caudill. Each page designed with a question and answer format and illustration.

Chase, Richard - see links in AppLit's Annotated Bibliography of Works by and about Richard Chase

Chitwood, Michael

Howsare, Erika. "Michael Chitwood (1958– )." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 14 June 2014. Chitwood is a poet and essayist born in Rocky Mount, VA. Includes a photograph, timeline, and bibliography, as well as biography.

Cleaver, Bill and Vera

Hanlon, Tina L. "Old and New Stories from Appalachia." The Five Owls, vol. XVII, issue III, 2004. Reprinted in The Five Owls web site.

Where the Lilies Bloom. A Mighty Girl. A Mighty Girl site founded by Carolyn Danckaert and Aaron Smith in Washington, D. C, 2012-.

Collins, Suzanne

Dominus, Susan. "Suzanne Collins's War Stories for Kids." The New York Times Magazine 8 Apr. 2011. Based on a rare personal interview, the article discusses the author's family history and her views on war, popular culture, absent parents. Collins stressed that she was writing books about war for adolescents, not an allegory of adolescence.

Gresehover, Ehren and Tammy Oler. "Hunger Games Tourism: Visit Scenic District 12 in North Carolina." Slate 27 Mar. 2012. The Slate Group, a Division of the Washington Post Company. Slide show in online publication of abandoned mill town, Henry River, NC, where District 12 scenes in The Hunger Games were filmed. The Lionsgate film directed by Gary Ross (co-scripted by Suzanne Collins) was released Mar. 23, 2012. See also Slate review of the film by Dana Stevens, 22 Mar. 2012, and other articles on the books and film in this site.

Hanlon, Tina L. "Coal and Ballads: Appalachia and District 12." Forthcoming in Of Bread, Blood, and The Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy. Edited by Mary Pharr and Leisa A. Clark. To be published by McFarland in Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy series. See related study guide in this web site.

Hardy, Elizabeth Baird. "Let the Hunger Games Filming Begin!" Hogwarts Professor: Thoughts for Serious Readers. 2 Feb. 2011. Blog entry by a resident of NW North Carolina, with photos and interesting observations about places in Appalachia that would be appropriate settings for the upcoming film adaptation of The Hunger Games.

Hardy, Elizabeth Baird. "EBH: Don’t go down in the Hole – Coal Mining Life in District 12 and in Present-Day Appalachia." Hogwarts Professor: Thoughts for Serious Readers. 14 April 2010. Blog entry with interesting comments on Appalachia and District 12, including consideration of stereotypes and treatment by mainstream media.

Parsons, Rachel. "Appalachian Girl Power: A Review of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games." The Princesston. 7 April 2012. Blog by Diane Landy, a native of Princeton, WV, reprints this review by a native of Mercer County, WV, an undergraduate at East Tennessee State Univ. For a class assignment, Parsons wrote this enthusiastic, thoughtful review of Katniss as a strong Appalachian heroine.

Crockett, David - see links in AppLit bibliography Davy Crockett and Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett


Dillard, Annie

Annie Dillard. 2015. The author's web site.

Smith, Leanne E. "Annie Dillard (1945– )." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 2 June 2014. Includes photographs, timeline, and bibliography. A native of Pittsburgh, Dillard attended Hollins College and married R. H. W. Dillard there. She lived alone near Hollins, VA on Tinker Creek when she wrote her critically acclaimed, widely influential book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, 1975). She moved away from the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1975.

Dowell, Frances O'Roark

Frances O'Roark Dowell. Web site of the author of Dovey Coe, a 2000 novel about a 12-year-old girl in western NC in 1926.

Dovey Coe. Simon & Schuster web site with information on the novel and author.

Dovey Coe Lesson Plan. Scholastic web site. Language Arts lesson plan by Gabrielle Nidus. for reading level 5.9, focusing on literary voice.

Wilde, Susie. "Voices from the Heart." The Independent Weekly [Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, NC] 17 May 2000. Article with photo on O'Roark and the writing of Dovey Coe.

Dulemba, Elizabeth O.

Elizabeth O. Dulemba: Children's Book Author & Illustrator. For bilingual Appalachian adaptations see Soap, Soap, Soap, and Paco and the Giant Chile Plant. Dulemba publishes information about her books, interviews with other authors, news and links weekly on her blog page.

Elizabeth O. Dulemba page, Children's Literature Network

Dykeman, Wilma

Wilma Dykeman. Profile at Tennessee Writers. The Tennessee Writers Project. Sponsored by the English Department of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. With links to excerpts from her writing.

Wilma Dykeman, River Writer. River Voices. Center for Global Environmental Education, Hamline University Graduate School of Education, St. Paul, MN. With excerpts from her writings.

Wilma Dykeman by Leslie Beckner, Virginia Tech Appalachian Literature course, 1999. Essay with bibliography.


Ebel, Julia Taylor

Julia Taylor Ebel: Author of Books and Poetry Celebrating Nature, Heritage and Cultural History. Web site of the NC writer, including several poems with photographs, a page on her book on Orville Hicks, a page on Addie Clawsen: Appalachian Mail Carrier with downloadable study guides, and other resources.

Eversole, Robyn

Robyn Eversole. Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, Guide to Resources for the Study of West Virginia Authors and Appalachian Literary Traditions. West Virginia Wesleyan College. Biography, bibliography, summary of critical responses.


Fox, John, Jr.

Davis, Aaron. "John Fox Jr. (1862–1919)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 27 May 2014. Includes a photograph, timeline, and bibliography. Excerpt: "Though he enjoyed enormous commercial success, especially with The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (1903) and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1908), today Fox is regarded as a fairly sentimental practitioner of the local-color genre, a style of writing that foregrounds place and regionalism. Still, he is fondly celebrated by the southwestern Virginia town Big Stone Gap, where he resided much of his life. The Kentucky-born, Harvard-educated Fox embodied a contrast that he often explored in his novels: the insular culture of Appalachia set against a more sophisticated outside world."

John Fox, Jr. Museum. Virginia is for Lovers, 2015. Fox's family home is in Big Stone Gap, VA.

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama. Big Stone Gap, VA. Play based on Fox's most famous novel. "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is the longest continually running outdoor drama in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is now the official Outdoor Drama of Virginia. It is the objective of the Lonesome Pine Arts & Crafts, Inc. to provide an exciting entertaining and accurate accounting of the story made famous in the early 1900's by the noted author John Fox, Jr.  It depicts the effect that the discovery of coal in the Appalachian Mountains had on the people of this beautiful mountain region."  

Furbee, Mary Rodd

Mary Rodd Furbee. Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, Guide to Resources for the Study of West Virginia Authors and Appalachian Literary Traditions. West Virginia Wesleyan College. Biography, bibliography, summary of critical responses.

Mary Rodd Furbee. Furbee's site has author biography, contact information, reviews, and excerpts from the WV author's books. Appalachian books include  Shawnee Captive: The Story of Mary Draper Ingles, Anne Bailey: Frontier Scout, Wild Rose: Nancy Ward and the Cherokee Nation, and Outrageous Women of Colonial America, which contains two Appalachian women. The web site says "Mary Rodd Furbee primarily writes books about women's history for children."

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Gammell, Stephen

Book Page Interview June 2000:  Stephen Gammell. Gammell has illustrated several Appalachian books, including Rylant's The Relatives Came and Waiting to Waltz:  A Childhood, and Lyon's Come a Tide.

Stephen Gammell page, Children's Literature Network.

Giardina, Denise

Denise Giardina. Biographical essay by Georgia Steinhardt, VA Tech Appalachian Literature course, with links to other essays on Giardina's works.

Denise Giardina. Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, Guide to Resources for the Study of West Virginia Authors and Appalachian Literary Traditions. West Virginia Wesleyan College. Biography, bibliography, summary of critical responses.

In Their Own Country: Denise Giardina. Based on WV Public Broadcasting program, 2003. With overview of life and career and interview excerpts. See also the Featured Books page. 

Storming Heaven. April 1999 selection at Book Club @ KET. Gives links to information on the book, reviews, online chat with author, discussion questions, other links. 

Giovanni, Nikki

Nikki Giovanni. The author's web site

"Giovanni Finds Funky Beats to Teach Poetry to Children." All Things Considered interview available online, with pictures and text as well as audio. Oct. 13, 2008.

Lawson, Susan. Nikki Giovanni. U. S. Literary Map Project: Virginia. National Council of Teachers of English. "This essay was submitted by Susan Lawson, a student in Jean Hamm's Dual Credit English class at Chilhowie High School, Chilhowie, Virginia."

McDaniel, Jan. "The Authority of a Writer: An Interview with Nikki Giovanni." Writers Write: The Internet Writing Journal July-August 2000. With photos and book covers.

"My Sistser and Me." Previously unpublished poem. In GottaBook, blog by Gregory K. Pincus. Thursday, Apr. 23, 2009.

Nikki Giovanni. Profile at Tennessee Writers. The Tennessee Writers Project. Sponsored by the English Department of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. With links to other sites and poems online.

"Nikki Giovanni." Virginia Women in History. Library of Virginia, 2015. Brief web page summarizing Giovanni's life and career in Blacksburg. An interview about the honor with Emily Richardson-Lorente of WTJU is at this link.

Nikki Giovanni Links. Broward Community College. Provides numerous links to sites on or about Giovanni and her work.

Nikki Giovanni page with photo at African American Literature Book Club (

"Nikki Giovanni Offers 'One Ounce of Truth.'" NPR's Tony Cox talks with Giovanni and musician Capathia Jenkins about their new poetry/music CD. Aug. 19, 2008.

"Nikki Giovanni promotes Knoxville, Tennessee book" by Brian A. Courtney (The Daily Beacon)  "Giovanni wrote 'Knoxville, Tennessee' as a short poem in 1968. Twenty-six years later she took the words of that same poem, combined them with the colorful illustrations of Larry Johnson, and made them into a picture book that celebrates the simple, comfortable pleasures of life in the South."

"The World Is Not a Pleasant Place To Be." Poem in Poetry for Children. Blog by Sylvia Vardell. Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2007. Reprinted the day after the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, where Giovanni teaches English.

Romano, Lisa M. "Nikki Giovanni (1943– )." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 21 May 2014. Includes photographs, a timeline, an audio link (poem "Pole Beans"), and bibliography as well as biography.

Vardell, Sylvia. "Hip Hop Today." Review of Hip Hop Speaks to Children (Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky), book and audio recording edited by Giovanni, in Poetry for Children. Blog by Sylvia Vardell. Monday, Nov 3, 2008. Added on Feb. 20, 2009: "P.S. Congratulations, Sourcebooks: The 40th NAACP Image Awards were given out last week and Hip Hop Speaks to Children, edited by Nikki Giovanni (Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky) won for Outstanding Literary Work—Poetry, the first time that a book for CHILDREN has won in this category. Congrats, Nikki and Sourcebooks!" Also included in Vardell's "Best Poetry of 2008." Friday, Dec. 26, 2008.

Green, Michelle Y.

"Honoring Family History Leads Author Michelle Y. Green to Awards." Interview with Michelle Y Green about her Willie Pearl books. NEA's Read Across America.

Michelle Y. Green. The author's web site.

Member page at lists Willie Pearl series set in Depression-era Kentucky coal town.

Grizzle, Ralph Edward 

Ralph Edward Grizzle, Free-lance writer/author. Grizzle is an author of nonfiction books and contributor to regional, national and international newspapers and magazines. His site contains a brief biography and a selection of articles written by Grizzle (born in Danville, VA), some on Appalachian topics. 


Haley, Gail E.

Gail E. Haley:  Her Stories, Her Stories.  Haley's web site includes pictures and information on her life in NC, writing, illustrating, puppetry, and author visits.  Includes several illustrations with background on her books based on Appalachian folktales.

Gail E. Haley Papers, de Grummond Collection, University of Southern Mississippi.  "The collection contains correspondence (1984-1987), a poster (undated), and material on eight books (1970-1988), including several of Haley's award winners."

Hamilton, Virginia

Hamilton, Virginia. Overview of life and work, with autobiographical sketch, excerpted from The Junior Authors and Illustrated Series, pub. by H. W. Wilson.

Virginia Hamilton. Hamilton's web site contains many pages and photos about Hamilton's African-American folktale collections and novels for children, including M. C. Higgins, the Great, which is about strip mining in the mountains. "For her novel M. C. Higgins, the Great, Ms. Hamilton was the first African American to win the John Newbery Medal. M. C. Higgins is also the only book ever to have been awarded the Newbery Medal, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the National Book Award—the three most prestigious U.S. awards for children's books." A native of Yellow Springs, Ohio, from a large family of excellent storytellers, Hamilton is named after her grandfather's home state of Virginia; he escaped from slavery across the Ohio River.

Virginia Hamilton. Internet School Library Media Center, James Madison University. A page of links to a variety of resources on Hamilton.

Virginia Hamilton. Overview of her work and annotated bibliography in Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site.

Virginia Hamilton page with photo at African American Literature Book Club (

See also AppLit's Bibliography of Folklore in Books by Virginia Hamilton.

Hamner, Jr., Earl

Earl Hamner. 2009. Web site of the Blue Ridge "Novelist, Screenwriter, Television writer, and Voice Over Recording artist."

O'Brien, C. "Earl Hamner Jr. (1923– )." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 1 May 2014. Includes photographs, a timeline, an audio link (book discussion), and bibliography, as well as biography.

Walton's Mountain Museum. Schuyler, VA. Opened 1992 in the town's former school. Museum devoted to the TV series based on Hamner's life and writings.

Wilson, Pamela. "The Waltons." Museum of Broadcast Communications. Chicago, 2015. CBS television series 1972-81, based on Hamner's family life and writing, following from the 1971 CBS movie The Homecoming, based on his novel Spencer's Mountain. Hamner narrated the opening and closing comments of each episode. Holiday and reunion specials were filmed after the series ended.

Hankla, Cathryn

Johnson, J. "Cathryn Hankla (1958– )." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 1 May 2014. Includes photographs, a timeline, and bibliography, as well as biography. "Hankla's Appalachian novel, A Blue Moon in Poorwater, is set during 1968, a pivotal year of national disillusionment coupled with the excitement of the moon race. David Parks loses a coworker in an underground explosion and embarks on a search for justice, caught between the union and the coal company. His daughter Dorie pieces together her family story, and what she reveals encompasses not only her father's conflict but also her older brother's downward spiral. Like Dorie, Hankla grew up in far Southwest Virginia." 

Harshman, Cheryl Ryan 

Cheryl Ryan Harshman. Contains short biography and list of publications. (link not functioning 11/23/02)

Harshman, Marc 

Marc Harshman: Storyteller. Harshman's web site contains short biography, photo, information on his books (with covers), school visits, and workshops.

Marc Harshman. Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, Guide to Resources for the Study of West Virginia Authors and Appalachian Literary Traditions. West Virginia Wesleyan College. Biography, bibliography, summary of critical responses.

Marc Harshman. Information on school visits at Penguin Putnam site.

In Their Own Country: Marc Harshman. Based on WV Public Broadcasting program, 2003. With overview of life and career, and interview excerpts. See also the Featured Books page. 

Henson, Heather

"First Book Podcast: Heather Henson, author of 'That Book Woman.'" Dec. 9, 2008. Bookmark: The First Book Blog. ("First Book provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books.")

Heather Henson Books. Kentucky author's web site includes biography, review excerpts and links, including notices of awards and reviews for That Book Woman and Angel Coming.

Hickam, Homer H., Jr.

Homer H. Hickam, Jr. Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, Guide to Resources for the Study of West Virginia Authors and Appalachian Literary Traditions. West Virginia Wesleyan College. Biography, bibliography, summary of critical responses.

Homer Hickam Online. Hickam's own web site, with background, book excerpts, teacher resources, etc.

Julian, Norman. Review of Rocket Boys. MountainLit. Ed. Phyllis Wilson Moore. 1999. Bridgeport Public Library, Bridgeport, West Virginia. Review of the book about "four real-life boys at Big Creek High School, in War. In the late 1950's, they decide to build rockets to rival the Russians." Includes quotations from interview with Hickam and photos. (The film October Sky was based on this book.) Another page contains Homer Hickam, Jr. Interview by Julian.

Hicks, Ray - see AppLit bibliography Ray and Orville Hicks, Storytellers of North Carolina

Hillenbrand, Will

Will Hillenbrand: Children's Book Illustrator and Author. Sections in Hillenbrand's site include About the Author, Will's Books, Gallery (prints for sale), Author Visits (with questions for picture book discussions), The Art Process (with a free downloadable file of art activities for kids), Teacher Tips, Sneak Preview (about books in progress). "Will's Books" contains very brief summaries and cover photos of his books.

Will Hillenbrand page. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.

Horstman, Lisa

Lisa Horstman: Children's Book Author/Illustrator. Web site of a picture book author/illustrator in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Hostetter, Joyce Moyer

Joyce Moyer Hostetter. Author's web site.

Blue. Calkins Creek Books. Publisher's web page on this 2006 historical novel by Hostetter, set in Hickory, NC in 1940s.

Houston, Gloria

"Appalachian Dedicates Belk Library." University News, Appalachian State University. Boone, NC. Sept. 19, 2005. Article on dedication of new library building includes quotes from graduate Gloria Houston's remarks about her love of reading and the library. "'I dreamed of getting snowed for two weeks in D.D. Dougherty Library and reading all that I had discovered while doing a research project,' she said of her time as a student at Appalachian. 'I spent most of my time in the library reading. Once, I gave up reading for Lent. Giving up chocolate was easy; giving up reading was difficult.'"

Gloria Houston. "Dr. Gloria Houston is a native of Spruce Pine, North Carolina and is known throughout the United States as an educator and author of children's and young adult books." Contents of this site include Background Information About Gloria Houston; Map and Family Tree; traditional song arranged by Gloria Houston: Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head; Greene Family Folk Game; A Town Meeting With Gloria Houston; The Sunny Brook Store Online; Questions I Am Most Often Asked; Books & Awards. (link not functioning 11/23/02)

Gloria Houston. Internet School Library Media Center, James Madison University. Links include General Links, Unit Lesson Plans, My Great Aunt Arizona Lesson Plans, Bright Freedom's Song Lesson Plans, ERIC Resources, Criticism, and Bibliographies.

Hanlon, Tina L. "Old and New Stories from Appalachia." The Five Owls, vol. XVII, issue III, 2004. Reprinted in The Five Owls web site.

Meet the Author. Dr. Gloria Houston. Profile and photo posted by public schools of NC.

My Great-Aunt Arizona. Review and Illustration by second-grade students, 2001-02. Spaghetti Book Club.


Johnson, Patricia A.

Patricia A. Johnson. An overview of Johnson's work as a poet and performer, with contact information. Virginia Commission for the Arts 2003-2005 Tour Directory.

"Somebody's Child." A native of Grayson County, VA, graduate of Ferrum College, Johnson won the National Poetry Slam Contest in 1996. She recites this winning poem on"Somebody's Child" is about church burnings in the South. The poem is published in her book Stain My Days Blue (Philadelphia: Ausdoh Press, 1999). See photos of Johnson and lesson plan on other Johnson poems in AppLit.

Johnson, Paul Brett

Paul Brett Johnson: Children's Book Author and Illustrator. Johnson's web site with background on the author, questions from kids, covers and review excerpts for each picture book, reader's theater scripts based on a number of his stories, other illustrations and paintings, information on school visits.

Cruikshank, Wendy. "Gigantic Learning with Giants." Lesson plan on giants in fairy tales, by a teacher in Calgary, Alberta. Scholastic web site. Reprinted from Instructor magazine, Jan. 2003. Recommends a variety of tales with giants, include Jack Outwits the Giant by Paul Brett Johnson. Includes a variety of activities focusing on setting, rhymes, language, numbers, reader's theater, etc.

Justus, May - see Links and References in AppLit bibliography Books by May Justus for Children and Young Adults.


Karon, Jan

Jan Karon. Web site of the author of the bestselling Mitford series of novels, popular with adults and young adults. The small Blue Ridge mountain town of Mitford is based Karon's home, Blowing Rock, NC. Reading group guides are given for the novels.

Keehn, Sally M.

Sally M. Keehn, Author. Web site of the author of two young adult novels of magic and mystery set in Appalachia.

Kelly, Becky

Becky Kelly. The artist's web site displays some of her paintings of children and fantasy themes, illustrations for gift books, greeting cards, magazines, and educational publications. Her magical scenes are based on her memories of childhood in West Virginia.

Rebecca Kelly. Ladybug Parent's Companion. Cricket Magazine Group. On this page, Kelly explains the influences of her family and her childhood on a beautiful mountaintop in West Virginia (link not functioning 8/24/03).

Kendrick, Leatha

Leatha Kendrick. Web site of the eastern Kentucky poet essayist, and screenwriter, with background, photo by Ann Olson, book covers, samples of poems from her two books of poetry and links to details on her other work.

Kingsolver, Barbara

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Barbara Kingsolver, with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver. Web site related to Kingsolver's 2007 book of the same name, about eating local foods (as Kingsolver's family did after they moved back to Southwest Virginia).

The Bean Trees. May 2001 selection at Book Club@KET. Gives links to information on the book, reviews, discussion questions, interviews with author, other links.

Barbara Kingsolver. The author's web site, with biography, bibliography that lists reviews, discussion topics for reading groups, audio excerpts.

Kirby, Ellie

Ellie Kirby: Cards, Books, Woodcuts. Troutdale, VA. "Her work is inspired by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains." Her picture books include The White Bear, The Big Toe, and The Legend of Caty Sage.


LaFaye, A.

"New Voice: A. LaFaye on Walking Home to Rosie Lee." 5 Dec. 2011. Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith in Cynsations site. In this interview about her first picture book, Walking Home to Rosie Lee (2011), LaFaye discusses the lack of children's books about the reunification of African American families during Reconstruction, this book's origins in research she did for her novel Stella Stands Alone (set in Mississippi), and her editor Lee Byrd of Cinco Puntos Press.

Laminack, Lester A.

Saturdays and Teacakes. Page on the author's web site about a picture book set in Appalachian Alabama, with illustrations by Chris Soentpiet.

Saturdays and Teacakes review by Beth Pye in Georgia Library Quarterly (vol. 45, 2008).

Laskas, Gretchen Moran

Gretchen Moran Laskas's Web Site. Background on the author and her historical fiction for adults and young adults set in WV, her home state.

The Midwife's Tale. Reading Group Guides has discussion questions, review excerpts, overview on books and author.

Lyon, George Ella - see links at AppLit's Bibliography of Books by George Ella Lyon

George Ella Lyon, Poet and Writer. The author's official web site, with information on available and forthcoming titles, background on the author, and photos.


Links Checked 8/24/03   |   Top of Page   |   This page's last update: 8/2/12

Send additions, corrections, or questions to Tina L. Hanlon.