Hope in the Holler
Written by Lisa Lewis Tyre
Upon her mother’s death, Wavie Conley, eleven, must go live with a scheming aunt in the Kentucky town her mother left behind.
Primary Source Pairing:
After the loss of her mother, Wavie’s journey of life takes a sad detour as she relocates to live with her aunt who has an ulterior motive for taking her in. Through determination and a little bit of luck, Wavie finds letters her mother wrote to her when she was a baby. One of the letters includes the following list of things her mother liked:
“Here are some things I like in case you like them, too, and you wonder where it came from.
The mist that hovers over the mountains in the morning.
There are other things, but those are the top three” (Chapter 29).
When Wavie reads this, she feels a strong connection with her mother that helps sustain her as she grieves her loss. The love of the mist that hovers over the mountains rings loud and true to Wavie. The setting of this book, Conley Hollow, an Appalachian town, is an important part of the plot. As Wavie returns to where her mother grew up, questions are asked and answered, truths are discovered, and a new set of possibilities is unveiled.
For this primary source pairing, invite students to take a close look at a photograph taken by Carol M. Highsmith showing a view of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, looking toward North Carolina, from the Hal Herrin Overlook on Bell Mountain, high in Towns County, Georgia. Encourage students to make a connection to this photograph and the setting of the story in Hope in the Holler.
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- Find something small but interesting.
- What do you notice that you didn’t expect?
- How is the setting an important part of the story Hope in the Holler?
- Use text evidence to support how Wavie develops a love for the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- How does the setting of Conley Hollow compare to where you live?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
“View of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, looking toward North Carolina, from the Hal Herrin Overlook on Bell Mountain, high in Towns County, Georgia,” photograph by Carol M. Highsmith, Library of Congress.
Related Primary Source Pairing:
Wish, Written by Barbara O’Connor
A story about a girl who, with the help of the dog of her dreams, discovers that family doesn’t always have to be related–they are simply people who love you for who you are.