Light Comes to Shadow Mountain (Paperback)

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Light Comes to Shadow Mountain By Toni Buzzeo Cover Image

Light Comes to Shadow Mountain (Paperback)


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Cora Mae Tipton is determined to light up her Appalachian community in this historical fiction novel from an award-winning author and former librarian.

It’s 1937 and the government is pushing to bring electricity to the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. It’s all Cora can think of; radios with news from around the world, machines that keep food cold, lightbulbs by which to read at night! Cora figures she can help spread the word by starting a school newspaper and convincing her neighbors to support the Rural Electrification Act.

But resistance to change isn’t easy to overcome, especially when it starts at home. Cora’s mother is a fierce opponent of electrification. She argues that protecting the landscape of the holler—the trees, the streams, the land that provides for their way of life—is their responsibility. But Cora just can’t let go of wanting more. 

Lyrical, literary, and deeply heartfelt, this debut novel from an award-winning author-librarian speaks to family, friendship, and loss through the spirited perspective of a girl eager for an electrified existence, but most of all, the light of her mother’s love and acceptance.

Back matter includes an Author’s Note; further information on the Rural Electrification Act, the herbs and plants of Appalachia, the Pack Horse Library Project, and more; and a “Quick Questions” historical trivia section for readers.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Toni Buzzeo is a New York Times bestselling children’s author. She has published twenty-nine picture books for kids as well as eleven books for teachers and librarians. A former librarian and college and high school writing teacher, Toni and her books have won many awards, including a 2013 Caldecott Honor for One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small. Her fictional human and animal characters echo children’s experiences in a variety of ways. Her nonfiction topics range from inspiring biographies of women scientists to board books about vehicles and transportation. Endlessly enthusiastic, Toni draws on her career experiences as an elementary school librarian in crafting her books and speaking with audiences of children in schools and libraries. Toni lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Product Details ISBN: 9780823459025
ISBN-10: 0823459020
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English
"Shines a nuanced light on rarely explored historical events."—Kirkus Reviews

"Full of a nuanced depiction of the Appalachian region, spirited girls who dream of greatness, and neighbors always ready to lend a hand. . . . The heart of this book will appeal to readers of such classic novels as Carol Ryrie Brink's Caddie Woodlawn."—Booklist

"With each page turn, you will fall more deeply into this time and place, with all its hard reckonings. But despite the darkness, light emerges. Your heart will be filled with it."—Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award Finalist for The Underneath

"Cora's spirit shines so bright the pages glow. She's exactly the friend you'd want beside you when things are darkest." —Sara Pennypacker, New York Times bestselling author of Pax
"This book is an invitation to meet delightful characters, dwell in an enticing place, and learn about an important time in our shared history. I love books that blend darkness and light—both literally and figuratively—to tell the truth, ignite my empathy, and show me the world from a fresh perspective. This is such a book."  —Lauren Wolk, Newbery Honor–winning author of Wolf Hollow