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Saving Granddaddy’s Stories: Ray Hicks, the Voice of Appalachia by Shannon Hitchcock

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Ray Hicks (1922-2003), who lived on Beech Mountain not far from Boone, North Carolina, became the best-known traditional teller of mountain tales in the second half of the 19th Century.  He was the recipient of a 1983 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts. He told Jack Tales in the way his grandfather Ben Hicks learned them from his father-in-law, Council Harmon, who learned these traditional European tales from his grandfather, Cutliff Harmon (1749-1838) one of the very first white settlers in what became Watauga County, North Carolina. This picture book, recommended for ages 5-9, tells of Ray Hicks learning Jack Tales from his grandfather, Ben. “A distinctive biography of a distinctively American voice.” —Kathleen Isaacs. This is the first picture book by the author, Shannon Hitchcock, a North Carolina native now living in Asheville who is also the author of four middle-grade books. The illustrator is Shophie Page, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

New York: Raycraft Books, a 2021 paperback edition of a 2020 hardback release. A 32-page picture book illustrated by Sophie Page. 8.75” X 11” trade paperback.