Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 10, 2023

Book Giveaway: SHE SANG FOR THE MOUNTAINS by Shannon Hitchcock

This Shannon Hitchcock’s first Picture book in this series, SHE SANG FOR THE MOUNTAINS, illustrated by Sophie Page and published by Reycraft. If you didn’t win before, Shannon has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Shannon and Sophie.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments by Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!


This lyrical picture book biography of songwriter and activist Jean Ritchie-Singer traces her life from the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky to New York City and beyond as her protest songs inspired a nation. The author and illustrator previously teamed up for the stunning biography Saving Granddaddy’s Stories: Ray Hicks, the Voice of Appalachia.


While I was researching a novel to be set in Appalachia, I ran across folksinger Jean Ritchie’s autobiography, Singing Family of the Cumberlands. Her childhood growing up as the youngest of fourteen children on a farm called to me. I grew up on a farm, too, and though I only had one sibling, I had eleven cousins who all lived nearby.

Pretty soon, I shoved my novel aside and started researching Jean Ritchie’s life in earnest. Lucky for me, Jean had written several books, given numerous interviews, and also married a professional photographer, who had taken lots of pictures of her.

Once I was chock full of information about Jean’s musical career, I needed to find a way to focus the material. First I considered telling the story using only Jean’s childhood, much like Talkin’ Guitar: A Story of Young Doc Watson by Robbin Gourley. I wrote a draft that way, but thought it needed a bigger hook. I kept reading through my research notes and Jean’s activism against coal mining stood out. I felt that by adding an environmental theme, it might give the manuscript the hook it needed to actually sell to a publisher.

I used the lyrics to three of Jean’s songs, (The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore, Black Waters, and The Cool of the Day) to let Jean’s own words tell part of the story.

My illustrator, Sophie Page got her inspiration for the cover art from one of Jean’s album covers. Another unique feature is that Sophie used actual coal in the illustrations. She says in her bio, “The illustrations in this book are made from clay, paper, fabric, wire, and a handful of coal!”


She Sang for the Mountains is the second book in my Storytellers’ Series. Each of the books is set in Appalachia and looks at a different way of telling stories. Also check out Saving Granddaddy’s Stories—Ray Hicks, The Voice of Appalachia, and Story Quilts—Appalachian Women Speak.


Shannon Hitchcock was born in North Carolina and grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of four middle grade novels, Flying Over Water, One True Way, Ruby Lee & Me, and The Ballad of Jessie Pearl. Her books have been featured on many state award lists and have received acclaimed reviews. Saving Granddaddy’s Stories is Shannon’s debut picture book.

She recently moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where she can see the mountains every day. For more information, visit her website at


Sophie Page is an illustrator, designer, arts educator, and storyteller based in Brooklyn, NY. Attended the Rhode Island School of Design and received a BFA in Illustration. She specializes in 3D sculptural illustration, imaging, and book arts. Sophie uses a unique set of materials and techniques to create images, products, and designs.

Sophie is a freelance illustrator who has illustrated SHE SANG FOR THJE MOUTAINS before working on the art for STORY QUILT by Shannon Hitchcock. She taught art grade 5 through 12 for three years. During that time she won two consecutive Nation Education Awards from Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.

Thank you Shannon for sharing your journey and book with us. This is such an interesting book. I love this story of Jean Ritchie-Singer. What a great role model for our children. Sophie’s 3D illustration are fabulous and are a perfect fit. Good luck with the book. Hope it stays in print forever.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Kathy, I do follow your blog! And I adore Jean Ritchie—I read the Christmas chapter from her book Singing Family of the Cumberlands every year to my (now grown but it doesn’t matter) kids. Thanks!


  2. I remember watching a series based on Christy (based on a novel by Catherine Marshall), where Judy Collins was a collector of folk tunes in the mountains. When I saw this I was so happy to think that there is a book out there reflecting the folk music of the mountains. I would love to have this book to share with my music teacher colleagues.


  3. This is such a terrific book! No need to include me in the drawing. I have a copy. Thanks for the post.


  4. The art is amazing and I enjoy the unique style. I’m excited to read this beautiful book. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Facebook, Pinterest, tumblr, and Twitter.


  5. Kathy, every one of your blog posts brings it! SHE SANG FOR THE MOUNTAINS looks like a fabulous mentor text for PB biographies.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that she’s preserving this unique bit of American culture. I’d love to read the book and learn more about it!

    I’m on the email list


  7. This is beautiful! I love the folk feel. Congratulations, Shannon and Sophie!

    I follow by email. 🙂


  8. Congratulations Shannon. Looks like a great book. I do get this delivered to my in book daily. And will post on FB and Twitter. Good luck on your continuing career writing!


  9. I love books about Appalachia! I’m so glad Shannon is writing about its people and culture. I can’t wait to read this one.


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