Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $5.24 shipping
+ $4.74 shipping
Digging a Hole to Heaven: Coal Miner Boys Hardcover – Picture Book, September 2, 2014
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From School Library Journal
"The vivid narrative is valuable in helping readers understand not just the facts but also the experiences of miners in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century America."
- Grade level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 1.48 pounds
- Hardcover : 64 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1419707302
- ISBN-13 : 978-1419707308
- Dimensions : 10 x 0.5 x 10 inches
- Publisher : Harry N. Abrams; Illustrated edition (September 2, 2014)
- Reading level : 8 - 12 years
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#1,178,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1,225 in Children's 1800s American Historical Fiction
- #2,517 in Children's Books on the U.S.
- #65,806 in Children's Growing Up & Facts of Life Books (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Readers will find the visual experience of being underground in a mine (through Nelson’s eyes) as a riot of color and texture. With artistic illustration, he succeeds in creating a world in time and space, accessible for both young and old readers. Nelson’s heart for children and animals is evident in both his prose and paintings.
The story begins with some of Nelson’s best writing: “The stout timbers that supported the tunnel groaned and sometimes shifted. The massive mountain seemed alive, forever leaning in upon itself.”
The dense atmosphere created by the play of light on color in the mule stalls on pages 24-25 allow the reader to feel both the exhaustion of the boy and his mule, but also isolation and an odd serenity that comes from the companionship between humans and animals. There are many pages where the artwork alone ‘tells’ the story.
His ability to choose the right moment in his story and build an illustration with the most evocative elements possible makes this book an artistic high point in his already lauded career. Nelson has always had an uncanny ability to render the 'soul' of animals in his illustrations. In this story, the mule "Angel" is so realistic, you would think it could talk (page 26). I was very pleased to see all the attention to detail in the illustrations that showed life above-ground in the 'rich' world, and in the miners' homes.
S.D. Nelson, teacher, has a wider agenda than telling a simple story about child labor and animals in deep shaft coal mines at the turn of the century. He also wants to teach about the dangers of coal mining and what he perceives to be its dangers in today's climate-sensitized world. Although he makes a brief disclaimer about open-pit mining, Nelson provides the reader with real-world images of a century ago in underground mines in the eastern United States. As an author, his passion for the subject is obvious, and he continues to provide more resources on the subject in his author's notes, bibliography, and references. Those readers who believe in anthropocentric global warming will find common cause in this book.
Another reviewer has mentioned Nelson's 'didactic' tone in the writing. There are some moments in the story and author's notes where that is evident, but the power of this book isn't about the supplementary information, however illuminating.
The book is a tour-de-force of illustration, a feast for the eyes, and it should be valued as an integration of art, story, and history. I would like to see more of this kind of illustrative muscle from S.D. Nelson.
I noticed that on-line photographs of Nelson's artwork from this book do not do it justice. You need to see the book illustrations to appreciate the art.