The Friends of the Beverly Library will present local author Cathy Mower and illustrator Emily Hendershot in a program about their book "Young Thomas Ewing and the Coonskin Library" noon Feb. 8 at the Beverly Branch Library.
Amazon.com reviews the book by saying: "Young Thomas Ewing is willing to walk many miles on the Ohio frontier to borrow a book. When the pioneers of Ames Township announce a plan to acquire books for a subscription library, Thomas is eager to help provide pelts for the payment of the books. Along the way, he and his trusty companion Ring embark on adventures that Thomas will never forget, even when he becomes an influential man in the government of the United States of America. Cathy Mowrer's historically accurate text combined with Emily Bonnette Hendershot's captivating illustrations detail the early life of a remarkable man and the unique and industrious manner in which one frontier town provides books for its early settlers." Another reviewer says, "Young Thomas Ewing and the Coonskin Library seems like a book tailor-made for children living in Ohio; however, it would certainly appeal to children in any part of the country that experienced a "frontier" existence. The story focuses on Thomas Ewing, a young boy whose family was among the early pioneers of the Ohio territory in the early 1800s. Most of these pioneers were well-educated, able to read and write fluently. Thomas, too, loved to read, but he had only a handful of books that his parents had brought with them from their home in Virginia. . . This thirst for more "book learning" was the impetus for the creation of a subscription library on the Ohio frontier. Books were purchased in Boston and brought back to the eager settlers, all of whom had to work to pay for the books. Some raised crops to sell, others sold animal pelts to buy shares in the library. Thomas contributed ten coonskinsd for a single share. The account of Young Thomas Ewing and the Coonskin Library is entirely authentic."
Mowrer is a graduate of Waterford High School and is on staff at Marietta College. She teaches the early childhood methods and literacy courses at Marietta College as well as supervising student teachers and field experience students at the elementary and middle school level. Emily Hendershot, the book's illustrator, is a graduate of Warren High School.
The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided and signed copies of the book will be available for purchase.
For more information about the program, contact the library at 740-984-4060 or stop in to the library at 300 McIntosh St. in Beverly.
Sue Sampson is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel.