Books & Writers

Tribute to Coal Miners Wins Top Mom’s Choice Award

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Parents warn their children not to be naughty or Santa would put lumps of coal in their stockings. But Thursday, on the feast of St. Nicholas no less, Stacie Vaughn Hutton, author of Shovelful of Sunshine, the only pro-miner, pro-coal mining children’s book, got notice she’s the winner of a Gold Mom’s Choice Award. I’m especially happy for Stacie and coal miners because my grandpa, Thomas Burke, was a coal miner in Pennsylvania.

Considering coal miners’ noble work, hardships they endure and their faith in God, Hutton said, “I’m honored and grateful that Shovelful of Sunshine has won a Gold Mom’s Choice Award in the Inspirational category – the highest level a book can receive from this prestigious organization. At this time when coal miners and the coal mining industry are widely misunderstood, Shovelful of Sunshine has been described as ‘beautiful’ and ‘inspirational.’ I believe this award demonstrates that more and more Americans want children’s books to be fair.

“Illustrator Cheryl Harness and I are proud the Mom’s Choice Award joins a list of supporters including Homer Hickam, miners, teachers, school librarians, moms and, best of all, children,” she said.

Shovelful of Sunshine by Stacie Vaughn Hutton is published by Headline Books in West Virginia. It’s endorsed by West Virginia natives Homer Hickam and Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., who wrote the foreword.

“Shovelful of Sunshine is a delightful book about a coal miner’s young daughter that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a thoughtful story that is also superbly illustrated. I am proud to recommend it!” -Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys/October Sky

“As the proud son of a former West Virginia coal miner, Stacie Vaughn Hutton’s Shovelful of Sunshine really hit home for me. This wonderful children’s book with vivid illustrations from Cheryl Harness really captures what it’s like in the coalfields… Shovelful of Sunshine will give you a glimpse into the lives of these wonderful people that I’m so thankful to call my friends.” -Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., America’s Got Talent winner, performer and recording artist

Stacie Vaughn Hutton is the author of 4 children’s books. She was born in West Virginia and grew up in the coal mining region of Ohio. She’s a former teacher who serves as a university trustee and designs apps for mobile devices and desktop computers. Stacie wrote American History Detective, Jr., Social Studies Investigator, and Was It Possible? Her new picture book, Shovelful of Sunshine, uses words from a coal miner’s farewell letter to his family. Stacie, her husband and children live in Columbus, Ohio.

The Mom’s Choice Awards® evaluates products and services created for children and families. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. The organization is based in the United States and has reviewed thousands of entries from more than 18 countries.

Shovelful of Sunshine is sold at Christian and mainstream stores, plus online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


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