12 Best Books About West Virginia Update 05/2022

Did you know that West Virginia was a part of Virginia until 1863, when it became its own state? After Virginia joined the Confederacy in 1861, West Virginia took over from Virginia. People in West Virginia thought they didn’t have anything in common with the wealthy slave owners who had all of the power in the state, so they stayed in the Union and started the process of breaking away from it.

It is one of the best ways I have found to teach my kids about history and geography. Charlotte Mason, who came up with the term living books, used it. This word is used to describe books that make your study of a subject come to life and that were written by people who love the subject. This means that there will be no more boring nonfiction picture books! This is a great way to learn about the 50 states because you get to read about them in books that are rich and vivid. Today, I’m writing about West Virginia on my blog. It has picture and chapter books set in West Virginia, as well as books for Mom. It also has books for kids about West Virginia and books for Mom. Let’s start now!

Children’s Books Set in West Virginia

A Piece of Home by Jeri Hanel Watts

During the move to West Virginia, Hee Jun has a hard time adapting to his new home. This is how it looks: His eyes are smaller than those of most of his classmates. He can’t understand what the teacher says, no matter how slow or how much she talks at the same time. As he lies in bed at night, the sky looks smaller and darker, like it’s getting smaller and darker. In time, Hee Jun learns some English words and makes friends on the playground. That’s what his friend told him. One day, he goes over to the house of a classmate, and there is a flower that he recognizes from his garden in Korea: mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him. Hee Jun brings a piece of home with him when he brings it to his grandmother to plant in their new garden. Starting a new life in a new place with your family and traditions close by is a story for kids.

When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant

Taking a bath in the kitchen, splashing in the swimming hole, and spending time with your family are just some of the simple pleasures that country living has to offer. Both the misty-hued scenes and the poetic text show these simple pleasures well.

In Coal Country by Judith Hendershot

She tells us about memories from her childhood in coal country through the eyes of a little girl. The things that make up her life, like her family, school, friends, and holidays, are described with love. Because of this, the book has a lot of power. It’s because of the dark, spooky counterpoint that goes with the light melody of the childhood reminiscence. Pictures that are dark and eloquent say a lot even though the text is very little.

Passing the Music Down by Sarah Sullivan

To meet the old-time fiddle player, he travels from his home in the hills of Appalachia to the hills of Appalachia to meet him. This starts a friendship that will connect generations.” There are two things that help seedlings grow: rain and sun in the spring and summer. Music has been passed down from generation to generation, from playing on the front porch to playing at folk festivals. For more information about Melvin Wine and Jake Krack and the music they played, this story includes an author’s note, as well as suggestions for learning more about them and the music they played.

No Star Nights by Anna Egan Smucker

Because of the red glow from the furnaces, “when I was little, we couldn’t see the night sky’s stars.” Beautifully written and illustrated, this is the start of No Star Nights. This book talks about how it was to grow up in a steel-mill town, with its beautiful and frightening sights and sounds.

Chuck Yeager Goes Supersonic: An Action-Packed, True Flying Adventure by Alan Biermann

Young people will enjoy the story of Chuck Yeager, an American aviator who grew up in poverty and became the first person to fly a plane faster than the speed of sound. Pictures of Chuck as a child in rural West Virginia are shown in this beautiful book, which also talks about his wild flights as a test pilot for the U.S. Air Force. It also talks about the terrifying bumping and shaking that he had to deal with as he neared the sound barrier. An important part of the book talks about what it is and why it is so bad. In this book, Chuck’s rocket plane breaks through to supersonic speeds. The reader can feel the joy with him as he makes it. Young people will always remember this brave story and the legendary pilot who took the world of aviation into a whole new era.

West Virginia Picture Books

M is for Mountain State: A West Virginia Alphabet by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle

There are a lot of mountains in West Virginia, and it has the highest elevation east of the Rockies. That’s why it’s known as the Mountain State. It has a lot of natural resources, which make it a leader in both industry and recreation, from making glass to climbing rocks. Among the things to see and do are Harper’s Ferry, a Native American Pow Wow, the Lost World Caverns, White Sulphur Springs, and more. Chuck Yeager and Mary Lou Retton are two people who have made a name for themselves in West Virginia.

Some of my favorite books for teaching kids about a state are Discover America State By State. They have a lot of different books about different states. Each letter says something about that state. For example, the letter A stands for the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia, and the letter B stands for Black Bears and so on, too. Each letter comes with a four-line rhyme about the fact or subject of that letter. What I like best is that on the side of the page, it gives more information about each subject. It’s a great place to start to find out what your child is interested in.

More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby

Nine-year-old Booker T. Washington wants to learn to read more than anything else in the world, but he fears that his long days at the saltworks will keep him from trying until he has a last burst of strength.

John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads by Christopher Canyon

These pictures are so beautiful that they make me want to read John Denver’s first big hit song over and over again.” A group of relatives and their in-laws have a lot of fun going up, down, and around the hills of West Virginia in their cars, pickups, and motorcycles to get to a family reunion at the home of Grandma and Grandpa. Canyon shows it all as if it were on a quilt, with little stitches between the ‘fabric.’ The lyrics beg to be sung!

Mountain Christmas by Marc Harshman

When Marc Harshman and Cecy Rose write and paint “Miracles,” they make it an instant classic in West Virginia. Every time you turn the page, you see a new picture of Santa and his sleigh and reindeer. If you live in West Virginia, you won’t be able to enjoy this book unless you know the State Capitol, Green Bank Observatory and Blackwater Falls.

Chapter Books set in West Virginia

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

In the hills near Marty Preston’s home, he finds a young beagle. It’s love at first sight, but also a lot of trouble. He named the dog Shiloh. Judd Travers, who drinks and has a gun, is a bad owner for his dogs. In this case, Marty just has to hide Shiloh from Judd and make sure he doesn’t get hurt. But Marty’s secret is too big for him to keep to himself, and it makes Judd angry at his whole family. Marty wants to make Shiloh his. How far will he go to do this?

Way Down Deep by Ruth White

The first day of summer in 1944, Ruby just popped up on the steps of the courthouse. People in Way Down Deep, West Virginia, didn’t think too much about where the toddler came from. If Ruby’s people were dumb enough to lose a child worth so much, then that was their problem. So even though Ruby can’t help but wonder where she came from, she has lived a happy and carefree life in Way Down Deep. She has been looked after by Miss Arbutus, the residents of The Roost, and the rest of the town. But when Ruby is 12, a new family moves to Way Down Deep, and they inadvertently give Ruby enough clues about her past that she can find her own people. It turns out that Ruby goes from Way Down Deep to the top of Yonder Mountain in order to find out who she is. She finds that she is tied to Way Down Deep by something even stronger than family: love.

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