Newbery Medal winner Cynthia Rylant has written more than 60 books for children and young adults. A Washington resident who grew up in Raleigh County, Rylant often taps into her Appalachian childhood for inspiration, as in her autobiographical first book, “When I Was Young in the Mountains.”
To me, coming home to West Virginia means … Cornbread in a cast-iron skillet.
My favorite West Virginia reunion memory is … My cousin’s outdoor country wedding and the bridesmaids serving food barefoot.
West Virginia’s best-kept secret is … You never know what a stranger will tell you in the grocery store.
Even when I’m away from West Virginia, I feel its influence in my work or life … Because I learned the value of quietness in my grandmother’s house.
Of my books, “Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birds” is an ideal “homesickness remedy,” helping to reconnect native West Virginians with their home state, because … because they’ll understand.