The Miner's Daughter by Gretchen Moran Laskas

Laskas, Gretchen Moran. 2007. The Miner's Daughter.

Set in 1933 and 1934, The Miner's Daughter is the coming-of-age story of one sixteen-year-old girl, Willa Laura Lowell. As the oldest daughter in an ever-expanding family, she shoulders a lot of the responsibility of taking care of the family and the house. With the Depression going on, it is even more difficult to make ends meet in this mining town. Now the mines are closing--for who knows how long--and the family doesn't quite know what to do to survive. While her father and older brother head off to look for work, it is up to Willa to provide a stable family for her younger siblings. Fortunately, help from an unexpected place is about to arrive. Miss Grace McCartney, a 'missionary' of sorts arrive in town. With a building full of books and a big heart, Grace is there to help this small town survive. Willa finds an unexpected friend who nourishes her thirst for books--especially poetry books--and a woman who knows how to provide a helping hand without being condescending. She is there to teach Willa to dream big. But Miss Grace is keeping a secret of her own....a secret that could be the family's key to surviving these hard times. It is a tale of poverty, love, growing up, and growing wise.

Review by Becky Laney, Regular Contributor

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