“Inspired by real events impacting rural Kentucky in the late 1930s and full of historical references, this upper-middle-grade novel is full of heart, a young girl’s drive and entrepreneurial spirit, and an exciting third act centered around the early arrival of a new sibling. . . [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

“[T]akes a sensitive approach that tempers the promise of progress with an appreciation of the traditions and ways of living that will be altered. Historical details about the Frontier Nursing Service and the Pack Horse Library Project add layers to the well-developed setting. . . Shines a nuanced light on rarely explored historical events.” ~ Kirkus

“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

Awards & Honors:

  • Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection