West Virginia

West Virginia and the Civil War: Mountaineers Are Always Free

By Mark A. Snell

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"The only state born as a result of the Civil War, West Virginia was the most divided state in the nation. About forty thousand of its residents served in the combatant forces--about twenty thousand on each side. The Mountain State also saw its fair share of battles, skirmishes, raids and guerrilla warfare, with places like Harpers Ferry, Philippi and Rich Mountain becoming household names in 1861. When the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded from the Union on April 17, 1861, leaders primarily from the northwestern region of the state began the political process that eventually led to the creation of West Virginia on June 20, 1863. Renowned Civil War historian Mark A. Snell has written the first thorough history of these West Virginians and their civil war in more than fifty years."

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Rocket Boys: A Memoir

By Homer H. Hickam, Jr.

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Looking back after a distinguished NASA career, Hickam shares the story of his youth in a coal mining town.


On Film:
Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Chris Owen, and Laura Dern star in October Sky, the movie adaptation of Rocket Boys.

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Miners and Mountaineers

Just a week ago, people in West Virginia were eagerly awaiting the NCAA semi-final game between WVU and Duke. Bob Huggins, the coach of the WVU Mountaineers - an alumni of both the school and the basketball program knew what a victory would mean for his state. He promised that if they won the title, the whole team would take a bus and visit every nook, cranny and "holler" in the state.

The House of Wings

By Betsy Byars

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This chapter book tells the story of a ten-year-old boy named Sammy whose parents leave him with his grandfather in West Virginia so they can try to make a fresh start in Indiana. The grandfather is gruff and only seems to care for the wild birds who pass through the mountains. Sammy wants to run away, but a hurt crane needing his attention convinces him to stay and learn more about birds and his quiet grandfather.
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