EVERYTHING FAMILY &
"Mother of Family Ideas"
Legend of Dynamite George
The Mining Pack Rat
Story and Photographs
by Carroll Bennett
Readers, Teens, and Animal Lovers of all ages
192 pages, with enchanting
6 " x
9", Soft Cover/Paperback
Book includes a
Glossary of Mining Terms and diagrams that provide
information about life underground and mining operations.
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The Legend of Dynamite George
Can be read on
an Amazon Kindle™
For another book by Carroll
Bennett, take a look at
It is this photojournalist's view
of the antics of a delightful Siamese cat.
Fabulous cat pictures
Carroll Bennett, Honored as "FINALIST IN
FICTION" by National Indie Excellence Awards!
A Synopsis of a Western Folk Tale
Jamie and Windy, two young newcomers to a
Wyoming mining town, befriend a
frisky pack rat with the intriguing name of “Dynamite
George.” He becomes the focus of their lives when his antics
and stealthy behavior get him in trouble with the uranium
miners, a group of hardworking men with nicknames like
“Mick,” “Sonny,” “Woody,” “Skinny Wren,” and “Traitor Jack,"
the federal mining inspector. A late night escapade starting
in the miners' shower room finds Dynamite George following
the scent of Luigi's meatball sandwich into the depth of the
mine with the night shift workers. The outcome is a series
of events neither Dynamite George nor the miners bargained
for – a gripping tale with a curious pack rat as the
Through the adventures of a pack rat, Jamie and Windy
take the reader into a world beneath the earth's surface and
give them an understanding of mining and the people who work
in the tunnels below.
In this mining community, there are rumors that elf-like
creatures (“Tommy Knockers”) are haunting the mine.
When readers come up for air, they will have a better
appreciation for those who work underground. Readers will
develop a special love for that little furry creature who
captured their hearts at the beginning of The Legend of
Dynamite George – the Mining Pack Rat.
This fast-paced, humorous book is enjoyable for all ages.
The author, Carroll Bennett, has applied her
photojournalist's skills to illustrate the pages with
precious pictures she took of George, the real-life pack
rat. Additional photographs depict the uranium mine where
Bennett was inspired to write her story.
are saying about Dynamite George:
of Dynamite George is a gripping, edge of your seat,
story. It's phenomenal! I kept thinking as I read it that it
should become a movie! Your story is so beautifully crafted!
You've developed the characters so well, drawn such detailed
pictured through your words in creating the story's
settings. You have got to be prouder than words can say of
the treasure you've created."
Kahan, B.A., M.A., M.I.S.
delightful tale of family love, friendship, and hard work,
illustrates how miners depend on each other in a dangerous
work environment. . . . an educational and fun story
from start to finish for young and mature readers."
story about a pack rat with the courage of a lion and about
the endurance of the miners. I especially enjoyed the
relationships of Jamie and his grandfather, and their young
friend Windy. Thanks for sharing."
(Dick) Mantlo, retired history teacher, Grand Junction,
combines love of animals, underground experience with
uranium miners, and mining folklore into a delightful story
about a pack rat, his antics, and the children who
Sammons, Jr. M.D. Ph.D.
"I read 'The
Legend of Dynamite George' and found it to be quite
enjoyable. Bennett obviously has done her research and
homework in mining and provides great written visuals. Her
story is compelling and it was not long before I could not
put the story down. I was fascinated with the legends
surrounding a pack rate and how she tied it into the book
Author, "True Tails"
The Legend of Dynamite George - The Mining Pack
Rat, by Carroll Bennett, is a
special story from beginning to end. Its very first words in
the prologue, Claws shut like steel traps,
immediately pull the reader into this 1970's tale set in a
uranium mining town called Homestead , Wyoming . The book's
title is a strong hint that Dynamite George is not a
typical pack rat, but one that is unique in his attributes and
contributions to life in Homestead . The photograph on the
front cover is a warm invitation to open the book and find out
about his legend.
Few readers will be knowledgeable about uranium mining or pack
rats, however, the author quickly presents essential
information so that readers move through the story quite
comfortably. Of course, the main character of the story is
Dynamite George, but each of the humans he touches is made
very real by the author as this suspenseful story unfolds.
The settings are well developed through the author's skill
with details, making each location in Homestead and the
uranium mine vividly clear to the reader. Photographs all
taken by the author, as well as graphics and a mining
glossary, further enhance the reader's understanding of the
plot and the settings.
There are a number of themes crisply woven into this tale,
some of which include the very hard and dangerous work of
mining, the financial struggle of those who make it their
life's work, and generational differences. Most importantly,
though, is the theme that the bravery of heroes is found not
just in humans.
This is a very remarkable story that will linger in the
reader's mind long after the last chapter has been read. It is
ideal to be made into a family movie, reaching a very large
and appreciative audience.
Bobbi Kahan, B.A., M.A., M.I.S.
Learning Resources Center
400 N. State of Franklin Road
Johnson City, TN 37604
About the Author
Award-winning photojournalist Carroll Bennett of
Grand Junction, CO
has lived a storied life as a competitive athlete, world
traveler, and adventurer. A
graduate of Northern
University, her diverse projects ranged from
underwater photography in the Caribbean to archaeological
digs of the pre-Columbian Chimu Civilization in
While working for the Museum
of Northern Arizona,
she worked as a photographer on The Ecological Survey of the
Grand Canyon. She
climbed 1,000 foot walls carrying large format camera gear
to match John Wesley Powell’s photos from the 1880’s.
The National Park Service used her images to evaluate
the environmental impact of the Glen Canyon Dam and changes
the past 100 years as well as intrusion by humans and
invasive plant species.
Bennett’s book, THE LEGEND OF DYNAMITE
GEORGE—The Mining Pack Rat was a finalist in the
2011 National Indie Excellence Awards.
Her portrayal of the lives of miners while working
underground in an uranium mine and a mining community was
based on her extensive experience when she worked as a
health field specialist while testing miners for lung
cancer. This heartwarming,
fast paced, suspenseful tale of a frisky pack rat that
becomes an unlikely hero will delight young and old alike—a
great read aloud story.
When I was a
photojournalist at the Museum of Northern Arizona in the
1970's, an employment opportunity arose that I hoped would
give me new photo experiences.
Saccomanno, M.D., Ph.D., a pathologist researching an epidemic
of lung cancer in uranium miners, based at St. Mary's Hospital
in Grand Junction, Colorado sent field technicians to the
uranium mines to collect sputum samples. Our team drove a
medical trailer from one mine site to another in four Rocky
experience exposed me to the mining world. Many of our health
tests had to be done underground where the miners were in
jeopardy of contracting lung cancer if they did not wear their
masks to keep out the dust.
Wyoming, I met a mine demolition expert, Dee Haight. His pet
pack rat “George” lived in a nest in the mine's explosives
magazine. Federal regulations prohibited flammable materials
in proximity of the explosives. When George and his nest were
evicted, the miners were upset.
Pack rat photos
in my story are original images of Dee Haight's pet. The
mining photos in the glossary were taken when I conducted lung
cancer tests underground.
involving the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in
my story are purely fictional. Below is a brief explanation of
the federal law authorizing the United States Department of
Labor to protect miners in hard rock and coal mines:
Mine Safety and Health Administration administers provisions
of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and enforces
mandatory safety and health standards to eliminate fatal
accidents, to reduce the frequency and severity of nonfatal
accidents, to minimize health hazards, and to promote improved
safety and health conditions in the mining industry.
Public Law 91-173
lung-cancer research project, I worked for MHSA and Colorado
State University. Now retired, I work with digital imaging,
photography, and writing.