The moonlight school A novel

Suzanne Woods Fisher

Book - 2021

"Haunted by her sister's mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come? As Lucy emerges from a life in... the shadows, she finds purpose; or maybe purpose finds her. With purpose comes answers to her questions, and something else she hadn't expected: love. Inspired by the true events of the Moonlight Schools, this standalone novel from bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings to life the story that shocked the nation into taking adult literacy seriously. You'll finish the last page of this enthralling story with deep gratitude for the gift of reading."--Provided by publisher.

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Historical fiction
School fiction
Grand Rapids, Michigan : Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group [2021]
Main Author
Suzanne Woods Fisher (author)
Item Description
Includes discussion questions.
Includes glossary.
Includes excerpt from the first book in a new series: The deacon's family.
Physical Description
314 pages ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Fisher (On a Coastal Breeze) introduces readers to a little-known literacy crusade in this enjoyable romance set in turn-of-the-20th-century rural Kentucky. Nineteen-year-old Lucy Wilson, the fictional cousin of real-life literacy advocate Cora Wilson Stewart, leaves Lexington when the opportunity arises to help school superintendent Cora as an assistant in the small mountain town of Morehead. Moving to the poverty-stricken area is a shock for Lucy, and it takes time for her to settle into the country way of life among the mostly illiterate and proud townspeople. Along with Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster dedicated to helping others out of poverty, Lucy sets up "moonlight classes" for adults to learn to read and write. As Lucy meets and teaches more people, those she encounters give her new insight into the world beyond her privileged upbringing and encourage her to look inward. Meanwhile, a slow-burning romance also develops between Lucy and Wyatt. Lucy's transition from haughty outsider to dedicated teacher plays out nicely alongside her newfound devotion to her faith. Fisher's fans will love this sweet tale. (Feb.)

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Review by Library Journal Review

Lucy Wilson has led a privileged yet lonely life in Kentucky after the death of her mother. When Lucy's father remarries, she reluctantly accepts a position to assist Cora Wilson Stewart, the first female superintendent of education in Morehead. She is stunned to learn she will be traveling into the hills to be a scribe for the mountain people, many of whom are illiterate. Shocked by the poverty the mountain people face, Lucy pities them. But with the help of Cora and a schoolmaster named Brother Wyatt, Lucy hatches a plan to help the adults in the mountains learn to read by teaching literacy classes on moonlit nights. Readers will see Lucy grow from a sheltered girl to a young woman who is learning where God is leading her. Lucy comes to the conclusion that her easy life made her poor in spirit, unlike the mountain people, who may have less money but are rich in their faith. While this example is used to show Lucy's overall growth, it comes across as romanticizing poverty. Fisher (On a Coastal Breeze) writes the speech of the mountain people in dialect. VERDICT A general purchase for collections with a large historical/inspirationalfiction audience.--Heather Webb, Worthington Libs., OH

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