Young Writers Take Action on Mountaintop Coal Removal

Workshop and Teach-in by and for Young Writers

Shepherdstown, WV—The four young co-authors of Saving Annie’s Mountain—a new book written just for kids on the thorny environmental issue of mountaintop coal removal—will meet young readers and writers, parents, teachers and friends at Shepherdstown’s Four Seasons Books on Sunday, December 6th at 1 pm.

The young people will offer tips and thoughts for other young writers on how to bring a book all the way from an idea to a reality. Their teacher, Leslie Milbourne, will also be present to discuss the history of mountaintop coal removal, its environmental impact in West Virginia and what can be done to stop it.

Authors Lillie Gill-Newton, Maryam Keeley, Nicholas Mokhiber and Samantha Stewart were homeschoolers at Wind Dance Farm and Earth Education Center of Morgan County at the time the book was conceived. Why, they wondered, is mountaintop removal happening? What is the history behind it and who has protested it in the past? Has anyone come up with solutions?

“We just couldn’t find very much on the subject aimed at children, so the children decided to write something themselves,” explained Wind Dance founder Milbourne, who shepherded the young writers through the demanding book project. “Our goal for this book is to educate young readers so that they can think for themselves,” said Stewart.

The children’s effort produced a sometimes-funny, often-revealing adventure for four children who leave their parents at a protest march and begin to explore a timeworn mining town. Their discoveries yield an understanding of life in coal country no classroom can provide. “This project really made us think about what we as a species are doing to our own planet,” Mokhiber observed, “not only that but what we are doing to ourselves.”

Beautifully illustrated by O’Ryan, a professional artist, Saving Annie’s Mountain presents a candid look at life in coal country as seen through children’s eyes. The event is free. Books will be available for signing. For additional information, contact Four Seasons Books: 304-876-3486,

For more on Wind Dance Farm,visit or call 304 258-4672