Letting Swift River Go by Jane and illustrated by Barbara Cooney Yolen

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In the middle of this century, the Swift River towns in western Massachusetts were drowned--purchased by the government and flooded in order to form the Quabbin Reservoir. Letting Swift River Go tells of this dramatic event through the eyes of a young girl, Sally Jane, as she watches her thriving hometown transformed into a wilderness and then submerged. Sally Jane's story vividly recalls life and changing times in rural America: playing by the Old Stone Mill and later watching it be torn down; harvesting maple sap and seeing those same trees uprooted; walking to school along a winding blacktop road and returning many years later to float above that same road in a rowboat on the new reservoir. Exquisite illustrations by two-time Caldecott medalist Barbara Cooney capture the changing landscape and the people of New England in Jane Yolen's lyrical evocative story. Drawn from history, Letting Swift River Go proves that the memory of a place can stay with you always.

About Jane and illustrated by Barbara Cooney Yolen

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Jane Yolen was born February 11, 1939 in New York City. She received her BA from Smith College in 1960. After college, she became an editor in New York City and wrote during her lunch break. She sold her first children's book, Pirates in Petticoats, at the age of 22. Since then, she has written over 300 books for children, young adults and adults. Her other works include the Emperor and the Kite, Owl Moon, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and The Devil's Arithmetic, which tells the story of the life of a Jew in a concentration camp. She has won a multitude of medals for her work including the Kerlan Award, the Regina Medal, the Keene State Children's Literature Award, the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Award, the World Fantasy Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award. Elinor Lander Horwitz is the author of a number of books for young and adult readers including "How To Wreck a Building, Sometimes It Happens" and "Contemporary American Folk Artists," Barbara Cooney (1917-2000) is the author and illustrator of many books for young readers including "Miss Rumphius, Eleanor, Island Boy," and "Hattie and the Wild Waves," She is one of the few illustrators to have received the Caldecott Award twice, for "Chanticleer and the Fox" in 1959 and for "Ox-Cart Man" in 1980.
Published January 1, 1992 by Little, Brown. 29 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Nature & Wildlife, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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1st, 1992 ISBN: 0316968609 Page count: 32pp ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Sally Jane's mother's words at the book's end, recalled when the girl and her father are in a boat on the now-filled reservoir--``You have to let them go, Sally Jane''--speak wisely to all of us about our pasts.

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