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Radio Bristol Book Club: Weaver’s Daughter

Welcome to Radio Bristol Book Club where readers from BCM and the Bristol Public Library come together each month to celebrate and explore books inspired by our region’s rich Appalachian cultural and musical heritage! We invite you to read along and then listen to Radio Bristol on the fourth Thursday of each month at 12:00 noon when we dig deep into the themes and questions raised by the books, learn more about the authors, and celebrate the joys of being a bookworm!

Author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley writes August’s Radio Bristol Book Club book, Weaver’s Daughter, a heartwarming historical novel about a pioneer family living in the Southwest Territory (now Tennessee) in 1792. The protagonist, Lizzy Baker, and her two sisters must navigate the hard work that comes with living the farm life, and so they help their mother by weaving to make extra money for the family.

The cover image shows a young white girl with long brown hair in pioneer dress bending over a loom or worktable with yarn piled nearby.

However, the most challenging obstacle for the Baker family is dealing with 10-year-old Lizzy’s sickness. Around harvest time each year, Lizzy suffers greatly with an affliction that doctors and natural medicine cannot seem to remedy. She struggles to breathe, and each year it only seems to get worse. Family and neighbors rally together to help Lizzy, but nobody is sure what ails her or how they can help. Hezzy and Nan, Lizzy’s sisters, have their wants and cares in the pioneer life, but nothing else matters when you are afraid your sister might die. 

Taking their minds off their own worries, all the girls are excited when a new family from Charleston, South Carolina, the Beaumonts, arrive and move in practically next door to the Baker family in a rundown log cabin. What is this wealthy family doing so far from home, and will the community and the Baker family accept the newcomers into their lives? Weaver’s Daughter is an incredible story about family, love, friendship, community, and the bonds that tie all these together.    

A headshot of the author showing her from the chest/shoulders up. She is a white woman with long brownish hair and blue eyes; she is wearing glasses. She has on a royal blue V-neck sweater with lighter blue trim, dangly earrings, and a pendant on a black leather necklace rope.
Portrait of Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley lives on a 52-acre farm in Bristol – right on the border of Tennessee-Virginia and nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. Bradley was a chemistry major at Smith College in North Hampton, Massachusetts, where a classmate suggested she take a course in children’s literature. Newbery Medalist Patricia Maclachlan was the instructor, and both she and Bradley soon realized Bradley had a gift for writing. After college, Bradley started medical school as planned but dropped out after six weeks to pursue her dream of being an author. Although her books are marketed for children and teens, adults have discovered her fine writing and storytelling and have become true fans. Bradley has published 17 books, which have won several awards and honors. Her children’s books, The War That Saved My Life, received the Newbery Honor award in 2016, and Fighting Words received the Newbery Honor Book in 2021. 

Please make plans to join us on Thursday, August 26 at 12:00pm for the discussion of Weaver’s Daughter. You can find us on the dial at 100.1 FM, streaming live on Radio Bristol, or via the Radio Bristol app. The book is available at the Bristol Public Library so be sure to pick up a copy and read it ahead of time. The librarians will be happy to help you find the book. We look forward to sharing our thoughts on this wonderful children’s book, and if you have thoughts or questions about the story that you would like to share with our readers, you can email info@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org (Subject line: Radio Bristol Book Club) – your book insights might appear on air with us!

Looking ahead: Our book pick for September is the graphic novel The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song by David Lasky and Frank M. Young; we’ll be discussing it on Thursday, September 23. Check out our full list of 2021 Radio Bristol Book Club picks here, where you can also listen to archived shows!

* Tonia Kestner is the Executive Director at the Bristol Public Library.

Radio Bristol Book Club

Tune in to WBCM Radio Bristol as our Book Club explores Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s Weaver’s Daughter.

Date: Thursday, August 26, 2021

Time: Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

Location: Tune in to WBCM Radio Bristol

Readers from Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the Bristol Public Library are coming together to explore books inspired by our region with the Radio Bristol Book Club, a monthly program that airs on WBCM Radio Bristol.

Hosted by Bristol Public Library Executive Director Tonia Kestner and Birthplace of Country Music Museum Head Curator Dr. René Rodgers, the Radio Bristol Book Club airs weekly every 4th Thursday at noon.

Anyone can join the Radio Bristol Book Club simply by reading along and tuning in! Look for this month’s selection at your local library and read prior to show. Be sure and join the conversation by emailing your questions or comments to info@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org with the subject line “Radio Bristol Book Club Comments” and we may address them on the air!

Book discussions will dig deep into the feelings and questions raised by each selection, highlight more about the authors, and celebrate the joys of being a bookworm! The discussion is often followed by an interview with the author or others related to the book’s content.

Listeners may tune in to Radio Bristol at 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at ListenRadioBristol.org, or download the free Radio Bristol mobile app.

Cover of the book Weaver's Daughter depicting a young girl seated at a desk, she appears to be weaving.About the Book:

It is 1791 in the Southwest Territory (now Tennessee), and Lizzy Baker loves her pioneer life. Her father is a farmer and her mother a weaver, and she and her sisters enjoy a hardworking life that is also filled with simple pleasures. Lizzy longs to grow up to be a weaver like her mother. But every autumn Lizzy gets sick. Now she is 10 years old, and the bouts of illness are getting worse. Neither the local doctor nor the midwife is sure what is wrong with Lizzy, let alone how to cure her. As soon as the winter frost comes, Lizzy gets well again, and this winter also brings some distraction in the form of rich neighbors – the fine Miss Sarah Beaumont and her handsome stepson are visiting from Charleston. Lizzy, though, is worried about next fall – can she survive this illness one more time? When fear threatens to overwhelm her, she learns an important truth about facing life, even in the shadow of death.

About the Author:

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is the author of several middle grade novels, including the widely acclaimed Fighting Words and Jefferson’s Sons and New York Times bestsellers The War I Finally Won and The War That Saved My Life, which also earned a Newbery Honor and a Schneider Award. She and her husband have two grown children and live with their dog, several ponies, a highly opinionated mare, and a surplus of cats on a fifty-two acre farm in Bris­tol, Tennessee.