By Cynthia Rylant
(116 pages, poetry, 2006)
Beloved children’s author Cynthia Rylant has always used her own life and upbringing in Appalachia as a resource for her work. She has won a Newbery award and continues to publish picture books, children’s fiction and early readers. But did you know she also writes poetry for adults? “Ludie’s Life” is a beautiful example of Rylant’s gentle style, including the hardships and the joys of life in coal camps and coal towns.
In simple blank verse Rylant tells the story of Ludie’s life, from her childhood in Alabama to her marriage at fifteen, the births of her six children and the chores and challenges of daily life in the mountains. As always, Rylant is deeply sympathetic to her main character and in fact dedicates the book to “all the Ludies who raised me.”
This is a lovely little book, easy to read, though you may want to re-read part or all of it once you’re finished! Ludie is good company – a little cranky, very honest, and grateful for her life and its blessings. And don’t forget, if you’ve registered for 2023 Ultimate Book Nerd you need a book of poetry to complete your log – this could be the one!
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