Growing Up in Coal Country | Teen Ink

Growing Up in Coal Country

May 14, 2009
By Elizabeth Crump BRONZE, Charleston, West Virginia
Elizabeth Crump BRONZE, Charleston, West Virginia
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Growing Up in Coal Country
Rating: 5 stars

Growing Up in Coal Country is a nonfiction book written by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. It was published by Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston in 1996. The author's intent was to portray the lifestyle of coal miners at work and home. I thought the book was interesting because it told a lot of important information and interesting facts about coal miners.

Susan Campbell Bartoletti is also the author of Silver at Night and Dancing with Dziadziu. Her husband was the grandson of Massimino Santarelli, whose mining experiences were the inspiration for the book. I would give the book a five star rating because it gave important and reliable information. The book tells about how young boys, men and their families dealt with their tough job and little pay.

The story of coal mining Pennsylvania is not just a story of men and boys working in the horrible environment for very little pay. It is also about the immigrant workers trying to make life better for their families, the breaker boys with their tricks and games, the women and children stealing scraps of coal to sell and use, and a story of families and workers coming together to try and make life better.

Joseph McCormick talked about his day at work and said, “Many a time I cried with the pain, but yet when the whistle blew for quitting time in the evening, I was as happy as a king to know I had finished another day and added another quarter to my pay to help support my family.” This book is not like other nonfiction books I have read. It has a lot more detail and interesting facts, where biographies have boring and uninteresting facts.
Once again, Growing Up in Coal Country is a very interesting book. I would definitely recommend it to any reader interested in learning about coal miners or anybody just looking for a good book to read.

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