Julie Baker (1965- ) Clay, Clay County
Julie Baker grew up listening to stories about coal miners in West Virginia. These experiences enabled her to present both sides of the issues surrounding the 1953 strike in Up Molasses Mountain. This young adult novel is voiced by two high school students as they watch their family and neighbors split over unionization in a small mining town.
"Overcoming heartache is sort of like climbing a mountain of molasses," 15-year-old Elizabeth's grandmother tells her. "Sometimes you feel stuck there, with the darkness surrounding you, tugging at your feet and pulling you down. But other times, things are sweet and you can see your way to go on."
2004 -- Included on the West Virginia Literary Map, From A Place Called Solid: West Virginia and its Writers, from the West Virginia Folk Life Center at Fairmont State University
2002 -- Parents’ Choice Award for Up Molasses Mountain