West Virginia's Appalachian Music and Literature: Wind Up

Home in the Mountains


Cynthia Rylant grew up in Cool Ridge, in Raleigh County, West Virginia. She lived with her grandparents and other relatives in a four-room house. She says, "We children had to make do with each other and what we found in the mountains, and do you know, I was never bored!"

In When I Was Young in the Mountains, Cynthia Rylant shares her memories of her childhood in Appalachia.

 Listen as you follow the text.

"When I was young in the mountains, I never wanted to go to the ocean, and I never wanted to go to the desert. I never wanted to go anywhere else in the world, for I was in the mountains. And that was always enough."

From When I Was Young in the Mountains, by Cynthia Rylant (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1982)

See also excerpt from Rylant's Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birds at the beginning of this teaching unit.


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West Virginia's Appalachian Music and Literature is a self-contained teaching unit by Avis Caynor and Reneé Wyatt (1997), reprinted with permission in 2003 in the larger web site AppLit.

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