A Bird On Water Street


Every time his dad and grandfather talk about Jack's "destiny" to work in the mines, he cringes. He loves the world that Miss Post, his teachers, shows him - with birds, frogs, and trees with leaves. In Coppertown the only thing that lives is the mining industry. Even that is about to change. The Company is closing the mine because of a prolonged workers' strike. The future is uncertain ... and that might be a good thing.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Young readers (and adults) will enjoy this well-paced story about life in a mining town. It is easy to extrapolate to other industries and/or towns economically impacted by "Company" events.

Content Awareness Factors:

None, really. The title may dissuade some readers from picking up the book. I wish it had a bit more "grab" to it.

Parent Reaction

It took me a little bit to get into the story, but I liked Jack Hicks and his friend Piran instantly. Having lived and gone to school in West Virginia, I could easily relate to the mining environment and Jack's questions about mining practices, environmental impact. Family dynamics were realistic (without being dysfunctional), and I appreciated Jack's dilemma of not wanting to go into the "family business."

Type of Book:
Coppertown is a fictional place with a very true history of mining life in the 1980s. This is a book with excellent high interest / low readability potential for reluctant or struggling readers.
Educational Themes:

The story unfolds through Jack's eyes, and there are several themes that fit in the "coming of age" category. As the author explains, the story is built on actual events in a mining town on the border of Georgia and Tennessee. Use the information in the book to expand a look at Appalachian history, as well as how mining has changed. there is also an underlying theme of ecology and conservation.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a very enjoyable book that will appeal to audiences who love historical fiction, but also stories with strong male characters.

Title A Bird on Water Street
Author Elizabeth O. Dulemba
Publisher Little Pickle Press © 2014
ISBN 9781939775054
Material Hard Cover
Cost $9.95
Genres Family, History - US, Historical Fiction, Family - Grandparents
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