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The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotten. “Set in the Southern coal mining town of Medgar, KY, this novel is a coming of age story which revolves around a teenage boy named Kevin.  He and his mom move in with his grandfather after a horrific accident which kills his young brother.  (Kevin’s grandfather reminds me a lot of Gus McRae in Lonesome Dove).  Great characters and good story.”....”A beautifully written first novel, Christopher Scotton tells a coming of age story set against the natural beauty and cultural traditions of Appalachia, while juxtaposed against the jarring destruction of mountaintop removal mining. It’s a dramatic novel that revolves around an act of violence and the repercussions that will change a young man’s views of humanity and compassion. In 1985, 14-year-old Kevin comes to stay with his grandfather, “Pops,” in Medgar, Ky. with his grief-stricken mother, who is nearly comatose after the tragic accidental death of Kevin’s younger brother. Kevin befriends Buzzy Fink, a half-wild local boy who tutors him on the mysteries of the woods and the mountains. After Pops and other locals organize an effort to try and curb the mountaintop removal that’s destroying the world around them, Buzzy witnesses a brutal hate crime, which triggers a series of events that pushes the boys to the limits as they seek survival in the mountains.”