Coal Camp Girl, Lois Lenski, J B Lippincott, 1959, 173 pp
THE SUNDAY FAMILY READ
Tina of the West Virginia hills is possibly the original Coal Miner's Daughter in literature. She is growing up as part of an entire extended family of coal miners in a time when conditions are dire. Mines are closing, machinery is taking jobs, and coal mining families are hungry during hard winters.
Lois Lenski brings all this to life. Tina's dad has no work for an entire winter. Her uncle suffers an accident in the mine and her brother gets lost in an abandoned mine with some friends.
The men are committed to being miners and their sons grow up wanting to be miners themselves. The story shows the fun and the dangers for the kids and the changes a family goes through as they must adapt to changing times. Coal Camp Girl, the fifteenth in Lenski's American Regional Series, moved onto my list of Lois Lenski favorites.
(Coal Camp Girl is out of print but can be found in libraries and from used book sellers.)