Reading Appalachia Special Exhibit

Vintage colorized photograph of four children

Reading Appalachia: Voices From Children’s Literature Opens at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Special Exhibit Open Through June 30

Bristol, Tenn./Va. (February 1, 2019) – Take a walk through your favorite Appalachian storybooks with Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children’s Literature, a special exhibit now open at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum through June 30, 2019.

Sporting life-size characters from Appalachian children’s books, this exhibit looks at the seminal titles from the late 1800s through the modern story of Appalachia – you’ll feel like you’re walking through the pages of a storybook. Children can stand eye-to-eye with characters from Journey Cake Ho, A Mountain Rose, When Otter Tricked the Rabbit, When I Was Young, and others.

“We are excited to be sharing Reading Appalachia with our community,” says the museum’s Head Curator Rene Rodgers. “It’s a wonderful exhibit to experience with your family or student groups, and with its focus on childhood favorites and timeless stories, it will be a nostalgic treat for anyone who loves books and reading.”

The exhibit also includes representative children’s toys from the area, and the panels provide a host of discussion topics and hands-on activities for families, children and kids of all ages. Children are encouraged to try on masks of storybook characters and find themselves in a story. They can create their own story of a childhood set in Appalachia and hear the voice of old-time storyteller Ray Hicks along with some of their favorite authors and illustrators. Each panel includes an interpretation of the text from a child’s perspective. Several of the books featured in the exhibit will be available for reading in the exhibit’s “Story Corner.”

All are invited to walk into the pages of a story of childhood in Appalachia!

Reading Appalachia was organized by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Knox County Public Library; it is made possible through the generous support of Clayton Homes, the Jane L. Pettway Foundation, Friends of the Knox County Public Library, and the University of Tennessee’s Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

The exhibit will be on display in the museum’s Special Exhibits Gallery from February 1 to June 30, 2019. It will be complemented by a variety of engaging public programs such as a literacy program for toddlers, poetry and journaling events, and much more! It will also serve as a wonderful educational resource for school groups and educators.

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