Tom's ambition is to grow up to be just like his pathe best story teller in the Blue Ridge Mountains and a community leader who follows the craft that has been a family tradition for generations.
But Pa's craft is making whiskey, and trouble lurks when a preacher brings his family into the hollow and sets up a mission church. The goal of this outsider is to "show people the error of their ways and turn them away from the evils of drink."
Tom and Pa match wits with the preacher and try to outsmart the law officers he calls in, and Tom tries to justify their way of lifeand his ambitionto the preacher's strong-willed daughter, Amy. But it is a series of events in the mountain community, rather than Amy and her father, that make twelve-year-old Tom question whether he will carry on the family tradition.
- The Joan G. Sugarman Children's Book Award
- The Hedda Seisler Mason Award/Honor Book
- An IRA Children's Choice
"Another fine offering from the author of the much-honored Shades of Gray: with strong, memorable characters and a compelling plot, an unusually thoughtful and well-crafted historical novel of these mountain people."
Kirkus (Pointered Review)
"A solid piece of historical fiction with likable characters and a believable premise."
"The author has captured the mood of the prohibition era in the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . delightful and entertaining."