Best Selling Books by George Ella Lyon

George Ella Lyon is the author of Many-Storied House (2013), Voices from the March on Washington (2020), Choices (1989), With a Hammer for My Heart (2014) and other 45 books.

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Many-Storied House

release date: Aug 15, 2013
Many-Storied House
Born in the small, eastern Kentucky coal-mining town of Harlan, George Ella Lyon began her career with Mountain, a chapbook of poems. She has since published many more books in multiple genres and for readers of all ages, but poetry remains at the heart of her work. Many-Storied House is her fifth collection. While teaching aspiring writers, Lyon asked her students to write a poem based on memories rooted in a house where they had lived. Working on the assignment herself, Lyon began a personal journey, writing many poems for each room. In this intimate book, she strives to answer lingering questions about herself and her family: "Here I stand, at the beginning," she writes in the opening lines of the volume, "with more questions than / answers." Collectively, the poems tell the sixty-eight-year-long story of the house, beginning with its construction by Lyon's grandfather and culminating with the poet's memories of bidding farewell to it after her mother's death. Moving, provocative, and heartfelt, Lyon's poetic excavations evoke more than just stock and stone; they explore the nature of memory and relationships, as well as the innermost architecture of love, family, and community. A poignant memoir in poems, Many-Storied House is a personal and revealing addition to George Ella Lyon's body of work.

Voices from the March on Washington

release date: Nov 03, 2020
Voices from the March on Washington
The powerful poems in this poignant collection weave together multiple voices to tell the story of the March on Washington, DC, in 1963. From the woman singing through a terrifying bus ride to DC, to the teenager who came partly because his father told him, "Don't you dare go to that march," to the young child riding above the crowd on her father's shoulders, each voice brings a unique perspective to this tale. As the characters tell their personal stories of this historic day, their chorus plunges readers into the experience of being at the march—walking shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers, hearing Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speech, heading home inspired.

Choices

release date: Sep 19, 1989
Choices
Tells the stories of people who faced difficult choices involving marriage, education, work and debt

With a Hammer for My Heart

release date: Apr 23, 2014
With a Hammer for My Heart
With a Hammer for My Heart is the story of Lawanda, a precocious, poverty-stricken fifteen-year-old girl from Cardin, Kentucky, who dreams of attending college. When Lawanda's friendship with an alcoholic World War II veteran named Garland is misinterpreted by their fellow townspeople, a tragedy calls her future into question.

She Let Herself Go

release date: Mar 13, 2012
She Let Herself Go
From George Ella Lyon comes a dynamic and humorous collection examining the transformations of one woman's life as she tries on, takes on, and peels off identities learned from family stories, gender, fairy tales, and myths. She Let Herself Go spirals through girlhood, wifehood, motherhood, and writerhood, through the poet's evolution, casting a discerning-and often irreverent-eye on the cultural expectations that have shaped her. Claiming Virginia Wolf as word-mother, these poems converse with powerful feminist poets, including Muriel Rukeyser, Ruth Stone, and Grace Paley.

A Sign

release date: Jan 01, 1998
A Sign
The author simply describes how she considered various careers as she grew and how she combined them all into her work as a writer.

Where I'm from

release date: Jan 01, 1999
Where I'm from
Discusses themes, sound, rhythm, language, and line breaks of poetry using the author's own poems, and reveals her writing process.

Back to the Light

release date: Apr 06, 2021
Back to the Light
In George Ella Lyon's new collection of poems, Back to the Light, the poet traces the course of a woman's life from girlhood, with its breakages and consequent denials of voice and story, to recovery of those powers and mature feminine wisdom. The purpose of the book is described within the pages between the title and the introductory poem: a young girl's need for the speaker's reassurance. In turn, the collection serves as a map to guide her -- and us. Faced with the story of this female character and the denial of that same story by the world around her, the speaker turns to the Great Mother -- rather than the personal mother -- to reach new depths normally left in the shadows, beneath the surface. In doing so, the speaker reaches beyond the personal to the transpersonal. It is this transition that begins the healing process and helps the audience -- and the young girl -- situate the single story within the larger human story while forcefully reminding us that we are not alone as we make our way through the difficult passages of life. Accessible yet bracing, George Ella Lyon's Back to the Light stands to serve as yet another example of the Kentucky poet's ability to speak to her readers at the intersection of that which is both innately personal and politically powerful. This collection will be another excellent addition to the Press' poetry list.

The Stranger I Left Behind

release date: Jan 01, 1997
The Stranger I Left Behind
When Sumi's brother leaves for boarding school, her best friend moves away, her grandfather dies, and her mother withdraws into grief, Sumi finds herself facing the beginning of adolescence alone and afraid.

Holding On to Zoe

release date: Jul 17, 2012
Holding On to Zoe
After sixteen-year-old Jules loses her boyfriend she experiences complications from the pregnancy that drove him away and suddenly, some of the people closest to her are behaving as if her baby is not real.

One Lucky Girl

release date: Jan 01, 2000
One Lucky Girl
Even though their trailer is destroyed by a tornado, a young boy's family is grateful because they find his baby sister alive.

Which Side Are You On? The Story of a Song

release date: Jan 01, 2014
Which Side Are You On? The Story of a Song
Which Side Are You On? tells the story of the classic union song that was written in 1931 by Florence Reece in a rain of bullets. It has been sung by people fighting for their rights all over the world. Florence's husband Sam was a coal miner in Kentucky. Many of the coal mines were owned by big companies, who kept wages low and spent as little money on safety as possible. Miners lived in company houses on company land and were paid in scrip, good only at the company store. The company owned the miners sure as sunrise. That's why they had to have a union. Miners went on strike until they could get better pay, safer working conditions, and health care. The company hired thugs to attack union organizers like Sam Reece. George Ella Lyon tells this hair-raising story through the eyes of one of Florence's daughters, a dry-witted, pig-tailed gal whose vantage point is from under the bed with her six brothers and sisters. The thugs' bullets hit the thin doors and windows of the company house and the kids lying low wonder whether they're going to make it out of this alive; wonder exactly if this strike will make their lives better or end them, but their mother keeps scribbling and singing. "We need a song," she tells her kids. That's not at all what they think they need. Graphic novelist Christopher Cardinale brings Florence's triumphant story to life in true rip-roaring union style. Selected as an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society and a 2012 Skipping Stones Honor Book.

Here and Then

release date: Jan 01, 1997
Here and Then
Through ghostly visitation and a diary that seems mysteriously to write itself with twelve-year-old Abby's hands, a Civil War nurse asks for help with medical supplies across an abyss of 133 years.

Sonny's House of Spies

release date: May 11, 2010
Sonny's House of Spies
Sonny is only one of the spies at the Bradshaw house in Mozier, Alabama. But as a child he saw a tray full of dinner come flying across the front hall at his father. His mother's aim was dead on. And Daddy's departure promptly followed. Loretta, Sonny's older sister, spies by eavesdropping. As she tells him, "How else am I going to survive in a family tight-lipped as tombs?" But the kids' spying only scratches the surface of what's really going on in this 1950s family in the deep South. While Deaton, the youngest, worries about pirates and vampires, and Uncle Marty, family protector, serves up scripture with every bite at the Circle of Life donut shop, somebody is watching. Somebody unsuspected by Sonny. But at thirteen he knows something's fishy, and he intends to find out what. That's why one Friday after Uncle Marty pays him for dishwashing at the Circle of Life, he sneaks out of town, first by bike and then by bus. Selma, his mama; Mamby; Nissa; Uncle Sink; Aunt Roo; his sister and brother -- nobody from that all-too-serious but often hilarious crew has a clue where he's gone. And even Sonny can't say exactly what he's after, until those tight-lipped tombs start talking, and life in the house on Rhubarb changes for good.

What Forest Knows

release date: Nov 18, 2014
What Forest Knows
Follows the changing seasons in a forest as trees and animals are nourished and are dependent on each other.

Counting on the Woods

release date: May 29, 2000
Counting on the Woods
Uses rhyme to enumerate and describe natural objects seen while walking through the woods.

Together

release date: Jan 01, 1994
Together
Two friends play together and dream the same dream.

Boats Float!

release date: Sep 01, 2015
Boats Float!
Set sail into the world of boats in this buoyant companion to Trucks Roll! and Planes Fly! Sails and engines paddles and oars make the trip from shore to shore. Boats float! From steamships to ghostships, to the little and big in-between ships, this fun, rhyming book explores a wide array of boats. The third in George Ella Lyon’s transportation series, Boats Float! Takes to the seas with dynamic illustrations that will keep even the youngest of readers eager to turn the page.

Who Came Down That Road?

release date: Mar 01, 1996
Who Came Down That Road?
Mother and child ponder the past in discussing who might have traveled down a very old road, looking backward from pioneer settlers all the way to prehistoric animals.

Don't You Remember?

release date: Apr 01, 2007
Don't You Remember?
This title is a fascinating and haunting memoir of a stunning past-life event that began when the author was five years old, traveling with her family on a trip to Niagara Falls. Her quest to understand the details and characters of this spiritual mystery becomes a decades-long journey from Harlan County, Kentucky; to Bath, New York; to Llanrwst, Wales.

The Outside Inn

release date: Mar 01, 1997
The Outside Inn
The rhyming verse presents all sorts of "appetizing" meals to be had outdoors, including "puddle ink to drink," "gravel crunch for lunch, and "worms and dirt for dessert."

Planes Fly!

release date: Jul 23, 2013
Planes Fly!
From the author of Trucks Roll!, an up-in-the-clouds exploration of all things airplane. World’s mighty big but there’s just one sky and it’s yours to travel. Planes fly! Take to the skies with this fun, rhyming book about all that planes do! From jet planes to puddle jumpers, from the cockpit to the rudders, this book explores it all—and the bright, dynamic illustrations will keep even the youngest of readers engaged.

Cecil's Story

release date: Jan 01, 1991
Cecil's Story
A boy thinks about the possible scenarios that exist for him at home if his father goes off to fight in the Civil War.

Weaving the Rainbow

release date: Mar 01, 2004
Weaving the Rainbow
Lyon and Anderson deliver this beautifully rendered picture book that shows the process of how a tapestry comes to life--from the wool sheared from prize-winning sheep to being dyed to put on the loom. Full color.

Mama is a Miner

release date: Jan 01, 1994
Mama is a Miner
A mother describes her job working as a miner.

Trucks Roll!

release date: Mar 27, 2007
Trucks Roll!
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal many different--and sometimes silly--items that trucks can haul.

Time to Fly

release date: Jul 26, 2022
Time to Fly
"A mama bird tries to convince a baby bird to leave the nest"--

Come a Tide

release date: Mar 01, 1993
Come a Tide
A girl provides a lighthearted account of the spring floods at her rural home.

A Wordful Child

release date: Jan 01, 1996
A Wordful Child
The author describes how her love of words and her personal experiences evolved into a career as a writer.

Dreamplace

release date: Jan 01, 1993
Dreamplace
Present-day visitors describe what they see when they visit the pueblos where the Anasazi lived long ago.

Book

release date: Jan 01, 1999
Book
This poem compares a book to a house, a treasure chest, a farm, and a tree full of leaves.

A Traveling Cat

release date: Jan 01, 1998
A Traveling Cat
When discovered on the playground in front of the drive-in movie screen, Boulevard, a stray cat, stays in her new home for a short while before taking to the road.

A B Cedar

release date: Jan 01, 1989
A B Cedar
An alphabet book introducing the leaves from a variety of trees.

Gina.Jamie.Father.Bear

release date: Jan 01, 2002
Gina.Jamie.Father.Bear
The lives of two young people, one in Ohio and one in another dimension, intersect as they struggle to hold their single-parent families together and to explain the behavioral changes they see in their fathers.

Ada's Pal

release date: Jan 01, 1996
Ada's Pal
A small dog suffers from a broken heart when her dog companion dies until a veterinarian advises the family that there is only one thing to do.

Basket

release date: Jan 01, 1990
Basket
Over the years, Grandma's basket becomes embedded in many family legends.

Five Live Bongos

release date: Jan 01, 1994
Five Live Bongos
Five brothers and sisters drive their parents to distraction with their musical band composed of such instruments as spoons, skillets, and pots.

Father Time and the Day Boxes

release date: Jan 01, 1994
Father Time and the Day Boxes
Text and illustrations describe how each day comes to us as Father Time tosses down one of the 365 packets he keeps safe in his vault in the clouds.
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