My mother gave me this book many years ago when I was fifteen. I identified deeply with the main character, Christy Huddleston, who, in 1912, left home at age nineteen to teach school in the Appalachians because she was looking for something more to do and be than what society circumscribed for her. She finds that and more in the bargain. Christy’s enthusiasm, naiveté, self-doubt, struggle for authenticity, and capacity for growth both interested and challenged me then and still does. I have returned to this book many times over the years for its humanity, warmth and enjoyment, and I have often given it to young people. Though set in a remote time and place, its power to inspire transcends both.