Shelby brings Appalachian stories to life

Kelsey Gerhardt Staff Writer

December 25, 2013

Middlesboro Elementary School had a special visitor on Dec. 13. Appalachian author Anne Shelby stopped by the school to read her stories to students.

Shelby is a published author who has written several books about growing up in Appalachia, folktales she heard as a child and eastern Kentucky legends. Her published works include poetry, newspaper columns, short stories and several children’s books.

The children at Middlesboro elementary listened to her story called “The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree” which is based on a story that was passed down through Shelby’s family.

“I like sharing that book with students because it shows that writing and literature can come from stories we hear and from our everyday lives,” said Shelby.

She travels throughout Appalachia to speak to children of all ages about the importance of schooling and continuing with their education while reading her stories.

“It’s all about encouraging their language development, their own reading and writing and speaking,” said Shelby.

Shelby’s roots are in eastern Kentucky, as well. She currently lives in Clay County in a home that her family has owned for over 100 years.

“I loved being at Middlesboro elementary, where there was such a feeling of cooperation and genuine interest in the children and their progress,” said Shelby.

Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-248-1010 ext. 204, kgerhardt@civitasmedia.com.