Shovelful of Sunshine

Gold Mom’s Choice Award
Gold Moonbeam Children’s Book Award

Indie Book Award Finalist
International Book Award Finalist

Foreword by Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

Illustrated by Cheryl Harness


Gold Mom’s Choice Award Best Children’s Motivational / Inspirational Book
Gold Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Best Mind / Body / Spirit / Self-Esteem
Indie Book Award Finalist Best Juvenile Fiction

International Book Award Finalist Best Children’s Mind/Body/Spirit

Foreword by Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

Meggie Gwinn loves dreaming about faraway places, but one day her dreams are gone. With the help of her coal miner daddy, Meggie learns of all the Gwinn dreams that have come true and the family message that would triumph over danger and darkness.

Generations of families have endured sacrifice and hardship in hopes they may leave a better world for their children and grandchildren. From letters written by coal miners, author Stacie Vaughn Hutton writes a story of hope and inspiration by showing how a young girl copes with her father’s job as a coal miner. Illustrated by renowned children’s book illustrator, Cheryl Harness, this book will be a family treasure for years to come.

What People Say

“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, New York Times #1 best selling author of Rocket Boys/October Sky

In Shovelful of Sunshine, Stacie Vaughn Hutton celebrates family and particularly a young girl’s compassion for her father. She gives young readers a protagonist who is grounded in admirable values and dreams. This book will engender classroom and family discussions about the importance of family sticking together and of American communities engaged in work, as it is both historical and educational. Best of all, there is an engaging story and wonderful illustrations by Cheryl Harness that add depth to the story.
Lynn Salsi, MFA, Pulitzer Prize Nominee

Stacie Hutton, with solid knowledge and affection, has written a well-composed Valentine to our underground heroes, coal miners.
Thomas B. Allen, author of George Washington, Spymaster

“Hutton beautifully captures the emotions between a coal miner and his child. Her sweet and encouraging message can be relayed to many adversities in life that we encounter and how we must remember the importance of taking risks and having hope. Children and adults will both enjoy this wonderful story that speaks to a part of our country’s history.”
Linda Bleck Illustrator of The Moon Shines Down written by Margaret Wise Brown


Stacie Vaughn Hutton






8.5 x 8.5




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About the Author

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