Skip to Main Content

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Dr. Beaman, English 1302

About the Book

1936. Tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. She joins Roosevelt's Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a traveling librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky. Along her route, Cussy faces doubters at every turn, but is  determined to bring the joy of books to the hardscrabble Kentuckians. 

Assignment, Themes and Topics

  • Based on some idea or theme from The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, write a research-based paper of at least 1500 words, or 4-5 pages, excluding the Works Cited page. This paper MUST follow MLA format in all regards.
  • The topic is up to you, but is should address how some idea or theme in the novel relates to the present day. In other words, this is NOT a book review or literary criticism. This paper is not about the novel; it is inspired by the novel. The essay should include references to the novel and how it is relevant to the topic of the essay. However, you will reference the novel in your final essay.
  • You will be using a total of 4 sources for your assignment.
    • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is 1 source.
    • 1 source from a .gov or .edu website.
    • 2 sources from the research databases or credible books, magazines, or newspapers.

Fire Towers and management of Forest Fires today

  •  The human eye vs. new technology
  •  The uses of empty fire towers today
  •  Fire tower workers—who takes these jobs today?

The importance of books for early childhood education

  • printed books vs. digital books for children
  • The effects of Dolly Parton’s Imagination library on early childhood development

The value of a mule or other animals used by humans for warning against danger or providing other assistance

  • service animals
  • Animals and mental health
  • Animals in bomb detection

Imposter syndrome

  • effect on education and achievement
  • mental health

Coal vs. Clean Energy

  • the abuses of the coal industry on miners,
  • coal energy vs. renewable energy like nuclear energy

The history and causes of the disease pellagra

  • Has understanding pellagra eradicated this disease?

Homeopathic medicine and home remedies

  • the medicinal value of honey or other homeopathic remedies

Laws to protect people in medical research

  • Would Cussy be protected better today than she was in the novel for the research done on her?

Poverty today and eating what the land provides

  • What foods can be found in nature today if the grocery store wasn’t an option?

The description of the Works Progress Administration described as "We Poke Along" and the reasons why people opposed this program

Abuses of authority

  • against vulnerable members of population
  • children
  • elderly
  • immigrants


  • Father/Daughter Relationship
  • Poverty
  • Hardships of Mine Workers
  • Neighbor Helping Neighbor
  • Absence of Assistance Programs for the Poor
  • Racism/Prejudice
  • Interracial Relationships
  • Kindness to Neighbors
  • Isolated Environment and Living
  • Survival
  • Hope
  • Literacy
  • Plight of Children
  • Distrust of Authority
  • Legacy of Generational Poverty

LSC-Kingwood Learning Commons | Ask Us: | Reference: 281.312.1693 | Circulation: 281.312.1691 | LIB 100, 20000 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood, TX 77339