Indiegogo Fundraiser Launched! Order your books here!

We’re proud to announce the launch of the final fundraiser to publish Lone Mountain! For this last stage, we’re using crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

 This fall we were able to fund over $3,000 needed for our campaign from generous contributions by regional organizations. Now, we’re so close to reaching our goal and publishing a real, tangible book that children can enjoy!

The best thing about this campaign is that you can directly order the book for yourself! Any donation of $15 or more automatically entitles you to your own copy of Lone Mountain. And…this campaign isn’t just a way to contribute to a great cause- it’s also a way for others to contribute to YOUR cause! We have priced our books at a low base price, so that other organizations focused on Appalachia’s future can resell the book at a decent profit to themselves.

Click here to go to the Indiegogo page and order your copy!

In thanks and solidarity,

The Lone Mountain Project Team: Bonnie Swinford, Saro Lynch-Thomason and Erin Bicknese.

Praise for Lone Mountain:

“A parable for the possible, Lone Mountain is a timely and important story for kids, their families and schools, about the challenges in protecting our natural homelands. The beautiful illustrations and moving story will inspire readers to climb their own mountains- and take a stand.” – Jeff Biggers, Author of “The United States of Appalachia.”

“This book is a must-have for all elementary school science and social studies classes, whether they are located in the coal fields or in the high-rise canyons of big cities.” -Sue Massek, Activist, Musician and Educator, member of the Reel World String Band

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We Made Our Goal! Over $3000!

blueberries-we-did-itThe Lone Mountain Book Project team is so proud to announce that we made over our goal for our fall fundraiser! Thanks to the generous donations of over 14 organizations and several individuals, we went over our goal of $3000! Our organizational donors include regional groups doing vital environmental and community work, including the RReNEW Collective, Mountain Justice and the Stay Project. Other donors do a diversity of amazing work outside the region and at national levels, like the Center for Biological Diversity and Footprints for Peace. To see a full list of our donors, click here.

In February we plan to launch our Spring Fundraiser on Indiegogo! This will be the final phase of fundraising for the Lone Mountain Book! Through this last push, donors and organizations will be able to order books as well as receive a variety of awesome rewards, including prints, downloadable music and CDs! If you’ve been looking forward to getting your copy, check our website again in February to make your order.

Once again, our deep gratitude to those who are making this project possible. It’s an honor to see such support for our dream to get this book into the hands of kids everywhere.

More Praise for Lone Mountain:

“Lone Mountain is as richly layered as the coal seams of Appalachia. This story and its irresistible illustrations drive home the needs of rural mountain communities as they unify their struggle to protect their homelands and entire ecosystems. Educators will find abundant areas to explore, from the complex and interlinked flora and fauna of the Mountain South to the struggle of Appalachian people to create alternatives to living in a national sacrifice zone. “  –Carrie N. Kline, M.A., Public Folklorist and Music Maker with Talking Across the Lines, a community listening and telling endeavor

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Help Us Reach Our Goal Before January 1st!: Only $700 Needed

new-fish-hunters-webThe Lone Mountain Book Project has continued to receive donations from a variety of organizations and individuals! We are proud to currently have 12 Project Partners, made up of local, regional and National organizations! Our wonderful Partners include RRENEW, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Tennessee Clean Water Network, RAMPS, Aurora Lights, the STAY Project, Black Warrior River Keeper, Footprints for Peace, the Alliance for Appalachia, Mountain Justice, Virginia Organizing and Heartwood.  With the support of our partners we will print the first children’s storybook about mountaintop removal which will be a wonderful educational tool to teach a new generation about the rich natural and cultural heritage of Appalachia and some of the challenges the region faces moving into the future. Thank you all SO MUCH for your generosity. We also want to offer a special thank you to our fiscal sponsor and project partner Tennessee Clean Water Network for helping make this project possible.

We’re very close to our goal! We only need to raise $700 Dollars to reach our project partner goal.  If your organization is still considering a donation, please don’t hesitate to give! Remember, all donations can be tax-deductible- look at our donation page for more details.

More Praise for Lone Mountain:

“Lone Mountain accomplishes something few books can claim; it deals with difficult and unattractive issues in a sensitive and visually beautiful way. For generations mineral extraction in Appalachia has been at the forefront of environmental social justice issues in the region. Here we have a book that gives a child a mountain’s point of view, a gentle community education, and beautiful inspirational images. Early introduction of these civic, economic, and ecological concerns into conversation can only benefit the future of the region and its families.”

Noel Johnson, Past President SOCM (Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment)

“Such a wonderful book, “Lone Mountain” speaks to the children of today from the heart of what it means to be a mountain. I love the respect of cultural knowledge and the art work.  “Lone Mountain” gives ways to connect young and old to many expressions of life, from the joy of toes in the water tickling the sands to challenges of water being contaminated, hard issues even for the adults in our world. Mountains are so precious for the future of our world. Spend time in them, working and playing to understand how to be fully human. The story develops awareness of what it means to be an active citizen not only for the challenges of today but for the challenges that will be faced in our rising generations. This book bring the past into the present and offers a future from the experiences of a collective of really bright and wonderful people. This book offers solutions , we need more like it in our world today.”

Carol Judy, Earth Educator, Woodsworker, and Tennessee Clean Water Network member

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Almost Half Our Goal Met- Please Make it 100%

In the past 2 weeks, the Lone Mountain Book Project has raised $1244 through the support of our Project Partners! That’s nearly half our goal for this fall! We are still aiming to raise $3,000, so please consider contributing to our project! Any amount means a lot to us. You can donate via check or directly through our WePay account.

Our work on this project has spanned years. In 2008, as an intern for United Mountain Defense, Saro Lynch-Thomason proposed writing and illustrating a children’s book that would educate about mountaintop removal. She spent the summer researching, illustrating and writing the first draft of what would eventually be Lone Mountain. Since then the book has been through several phases of editing, with more illustrations added every time. Saro took the time to listen to feedback from Appalachians and activists, revising the book and pinpointing important information for young readers.  Now Saro and fellow activists Bonnie Swinford and Erin Bicknese are uniting to make the final push to publish the book. We appreciate your part in the journey of making this book a reality. Thank you so much!

Here is more praise for Lone Mountain:

“We’d better listen to the voices from the mountains…trying to tell us what we just might need to know…” sing the words to a song by Ruthie Gorton.  In this remarkable little book the mountain speaks to us both of the richness and beauty of the Appalachian mountains, but also of the devastation caused by disastrous mining techniques.  Most importantly it tells us that people can organize and fight to save the mountains and gives concrete information about how we, the readers, can help.  Written especially for young people, Lone Mountain makes an important contribution to Appalachian literature.”

-Guy & Candie Carawan musicians and cultural organizers, Highlander Research and Education Center

“Lone Mountain hits close to home and exemplifies the true costs of coal in Appalachia. My children will not know the beauty of the forest and the mountain above the home I was raised on. This book is a testament to the connections with nature our children desperately need, and the will to preserve it.”

-Nick Mullins, Former 4th Generation Underground Coal Miner

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Fall Soft Launch Begins!

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As of November 11th, we are starting our soft launch for the Lone Mountain Book Project! From November thru December, we will be seeking project partners to help raise money to print the first children’s story book about mountaintop removal.

Please help us spread the word to local, regional and national organizations and let them know that for a small tax-deductible donation they can partner with  the Lone Mountain Book Project! Become a Project partner today! 

Our goal is to raise $3,000 during the soft launch. Once this is accomplished, we will need everyone’s help to raise $5,000 on the crowd-funding platform Indiegogo, which will not only enable organizations and individuals to donate, but to pre-order books as well!

So please, spread the word to organizations who might be interested in donating!* Post this link on your facebook wall, tweet about it, blog about it. Every effort counts.

Praise for Lone Mountain:

“A parable for the possible, Lone Mountain is a timely and important story for kids, their families and schools, about the challenges in protecting our natural homelands.  The beautiful illustrations and moving story will inspire readers to climb their own mountains- and take a stand.”- Jeff Biggers, author of “The United States of Appalachia”

“Words can only begin to describe the quiet eloquence, understated beauty and sheer emotional power of Saro Lynch-Thomason’s magnificent new book Lone Mountain.  In this remarkable work, the mountain speaks, not just for itself, but for all of us, for the potential that both humans and nature have to oppose and overcome the most overwhelming threats to our well being, our happiness, our survival.” – Si Kahn, Appalachian organizer, Author and Musician  

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*If you are an individual and would like to donate, you are welcome to do so now. But be aware that we will need your support in the spring when we launch our book pre-order on Indiegogo!

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Announcing the Lone Mountain Book Project!

What is Lone Mountain?

Lone Mountain is an illustrated children’s story book created to educate youth about mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. Set in central Appalachia, this 32-page book presents beautifully illustrated full color pages that will compel and educate youth and adult readers alike. Focusing on Appalachia’s rich cultural and natural heritage- from its biodiversity to its clean water, food sources and medicinal plants- Lone Mountain presents a framework for learning about the valuable gifts of the Appalachian Mountains while raising awareness about the threats of mountaintop removal.

The Story of Lone Mountain                 

Set in central Appalachia, the story is told from the perspective of Lone Mountain, who has a close relationship with the community of people who use the mountain slopes for food, water and medicine. When mountaintop removal threatens to destroy those relationships, mountain people seek to educate others across the country about the ways in which we all benefit from the health of the Appalachian Mountains.


We intend to get 1,000 books printed in 2014. Our vision is that these books will not only serve to educate the public, but raise money for anti-MTR organizations as well. This will be accomplished in two stages. 1) Now through December, we are raising money in a soft launch. 2) In the spring we will do an official fundraiser/book order on crowdfunding source Indiegogo. Organizations will be able to buy these books at cost, and then sell them again for profit towards their own work!

Please enjoy exploring our site: and consider donating to our cause! Please also spread awareness about this project through social media like facebook and twitter.


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Clearcutting, or clearfelling, is a controversial forestry/logging practice in which most or all trees in an area are uniformly cut down. Clearcutting, along with shelterwood and seed tree harvests, is used by foresters to create certain types of forest ecosystems and to promote select species that require an abundance of sunlight or grow in large, even-age stands. Logging companies and forest-worker unions in some countries support the practice for scientific, safety, and economic reasons. Detractors see clearcutting as synonymous with deforestation, destroying natural habitats and contributing to climate change.

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