Inspired by Cynthia Rylant’s childhood spent with her grandparents in the mountains of West Virginia, Rylant lyrically describes the simplicity of living in the country using the phrase, “When I was young in the mountains. . .”.
This book is useful for many writers workshop lessons. After introducing writers’ notebooks to students, this book can be used to introduce a way to brainstorm topics for the notebook. After I model from my own life, I have students use the phrase, “When I was young. . . ” to begin their own brainstorming of ideas they might use as seeds for writing pieces.