Book Titles


maxwoodycoverMax Woody, Chair Maker: A Legacy in Wood

On the day in June of 1950 when Max Woody bought his first woodworking machines, he took a leap—not a step—onto the path that he would faithfully follow for a lifetime. Max Woody had a dream that has kept him making chairs ever since.

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Ages: Middle school to adult

Study Topics: Social studies, North Carolina heritage and traditional skills (chair making), the Korean War; character (dedication to purpose, leaving a legacy); free verse poetry to portray character

 Hansi and the IcemanHansi and the Iceman

Hansi and the neighborhood children delight in gathering ice chips from the horse-drawn ice wagon as the iceman brings ice for Oma’s icebox. But when Hansi’s grandmother buys an electric refrigerator, he wonders about the changes ahead—no more ice for Oma’s icebox and no ice chips for Hansi and his sister Elizabeth. Hansi and the Iceman is sure to spark memories for sharing across generations.

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Ages: 5 to 10 (of strong interest across generations)

Study topics: social studies (historical periods, change, immigration), writing, science, technology, onymastics (the study of names), tradition, languages


Mama’s Wreaths

Joanie is eager to learn her mother’s skills in making evergreen wreaths—a skill known to many women in her Appalachian Mountain community; but along that path she also finds lessons about family, trust, and joy. The story unfolds through spare poems flowing with images and scents of evergreen that readers of all ages will savor. Includes end notes and simple instructions for making a wreath.

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Ages: 7 through adult

Study topics: Poetry, social studies, Appalachian culture, wreath making, Christmas tree farming, character, math Tales and Mountain Yarns, as told by Orville Hicks

Jack Tales and Mountain Yarns, as told by Orville Hicks: Transcription of over 20 of Orville’s stories, plus endnotes–and some surprises. Engaging line drawings by Sherry Jenkins Jensen. Afterward by Dr. Thomas McGowan.

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Ages: 8 to 108

Study topics: NC literature, folklore, NC social studies Hicks: Mountain Stories, Mountain Roots

Biography of North Carolina Heritage Award winner Orville Hicks, who tells Jack Tales and other stories passed down through generations of his family near Beech Mountain, NC.

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Ages: 8 to adult.

Study topics: NC social studies, mountain life, folklore, character

The Picture Man

A glimpse of the moment when a picture man photographed a mountain farm girl. Endnotes include vintage photos by a picture man and discuss the contributions of picture men–and gives instruction on making a box camera. Watercolors by Idalia Canter hint of old tinted photographs. For children, parents, and great-grandparents, especially if they share their photographs.

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Ages: 5-10  (of strong interest across generations)

Study topics: Social studies, science, photography and photographic history

Addie Clawson: Appalachian Mail Carrier

A picture book biography of the first female mail rural carrier in Watauga County, NC—a role model of determination and kindness.

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Ages: All ages

Study topics: Character study, role of women, NC social studies, mountain region, postal history

Dresses, Dreams and Beadwood Leaves

A growing-up story of an Appalachia farm girl, told in a series of free verse poems, with my own sketches. As Rosa May dreams of being a nurse and longs for a store-bought dress, she finds hope through native herbs. Includes end notes.

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Ages: 8 to 98

Study topics: Poetry, social studies, native plants and herb gathering, math, self-esteem, character

walking ribbonWalking Ribbon

A picture book, set in Liberty, NC, where my grandmother grew up and once walked a calf that ran. Maggie’s story draws from that eventful walk around 1898.

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Ages: 4 to 10

Study topics: NC social studies, keeping our own stories