Ronald Kidd - July 2018
Ronald Kidd ~ July 2018

Starred Review for
Lord of the Mountain

My new middle grade novel Lord of the Mountain, coming in September, will receive a starred review in the August issue of School Library Journal:

In 1927, the “big bang” of country music occurred in a hotel in Bristol, TN, when folk artists like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family were recorded for the brand new Victrola record players. For 13-year-old Nate Owens, these recording sessions open up a new world of technology and music, both of which are forbidden by his preacher father’s strict beliefs. As Nate struggles to understand his father and the mysteries of his family’s past, he runs away from home, rides the rails, and eventually finds work as a car mechanic for A.P. Carter and Lesley “Esley” Riddle, scouring rural Appalachia for songs to record.

This remarkable novel deftly winds history and fiction together in a compelling and moving story of music and identity. From unionization clashes to racial segregation, religious snake handling to mass poverty and unemployment, this historical novel explores the rapidly changing world of Prohibition-era Appalachia with incredible nuance and thoughtfulness. Through Nate’s honest and engaging first-person narration, Kidd crafts a voice and a journey that is, like the Carter Family’s songs, both old and new, rooted in tradition yet fresh and distinct.

VERDICT: Beautiful and intelligent historical fiction in the vein of Christopher Paul Curtis, Vince Vawter, and Mildred D. Taylor. A must-have for school and public library collections.

More about Lord of the Mountain

Sammy Carducci at the
International Thespian Festival!

My early comic novel Sammy Carducci’s Guide to Women was later adapted as a play, and periodically I get news of performances around the country. Recently I was contacted by Amy Roberge, the drama teacher at Grant Sawyer Middle School in Las Vegas, with some exciting news. Two of her 7th grade students, Jeffrey Pantoja, shown on the right (Sammy) and Benjamin Oloteo (Gus), won a prestigious award doing a scene from the play. Here is Amy’s report:

The International Thespian Society is the honor society for theater. They hold regional and state competitions, as well as an annual International Festival. The boys scored an Excellent ranking at the regional level, which qualified for state. At state, they received the highest ranking of Superior, allowing them to compete at the six-day International Festival at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Hundreds of high schools from around the U.S., Canada, England, Dubai, and Singapore were there to compete and attend productions and workshops.  There were only about 25 middle schools, and we were the only one from  Las Vegas.

A ranking of Superior is the highest award possible, and the boys received that from all three judges. Very few Superiors are awarded, and we are so proud! 

New and Upcoming

  • Lord of the Mountain (Fall 2018)
    The “big bang” of country music in 1927 at Bristol, Tennessee. Read more.
  • On Beale Street (Summer 2018)
    Paperback Edition
    Race meets rock ’n’ roll in 1954 Memphis. Read more.
  • Room of Shadows (Now available)
    Edgar Allan Poe returns and gets the glorious death he deserved. Read more.
Learn about my books, plays, and music at
Download a sampler of chapters from three of my latest books.

Copyright © 2018 Ronald Kidd, All rights reserved.

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