Mackinac Bridge: The Story of the Five Mile Poem
by Gloria Whelan
Set in the late 1950s, this is the moving story of a young boy whose father operates a ferryboat between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas. As young Mark witnesses the building of the new Mackinac Bridge, he is torn between family loyalty and eager anticipation. He can't help being awestruck by the majesty of the five-mile-long bridge that will connect the two peninsulas and change the lives of so many. But the Mighty Mac will also put Mark's father out of business. As his father struggles with the flow of progress, Mark dreams of future bridges he will build. Details of the complex construction of the bridge will fascinate children as they learn an important part of America's history and come to understand the meaning of change. The Mackinac Bridge Authority provides history notes at the back of the book.
- Dewey: F
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585362837): 40 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2007, 09/01/2006
- PDF (9781410308474): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2011, 09/01/2011
- Hosted ebook (9781627533867): 40 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Series: Tales of Young Americans
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
- ATOS Reading Level: 4.3
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 109739
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- Michigan Notables Book List, Short-listed, 2007
- Great Lakes Award Shortlist Finalist: Grades 2-3, Short-listed, 2007
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Author: Gloria Whelan
Gloria Whelan is a poet and the award-winning author of many children’s books including Homeless Bird, for which she received the National Book Award. The Listeners is her third title in the Tales of Young Americans series. Her other picture books with Sleeping Bear Press include Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers (2008 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner); Yatandou (a Junior Library Guild selection); and Friend on Freedom River (a Jefferson Cup honor book). Ms. Whelan lives near Lake St. Clair in Michigan where you can often find her out walking.
Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen
Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen was born in the Netherlands in 1951. With his seven brothers and sisters, he grew up exploring nature and his sketch pads were filled with observations from those family outings. Always drawing as a young boy, his father encouraged Gijsbert to make art his career. After high school, he attended and graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in Arnhem, Holland.
Gijsbert, or “Mr. Nick” as many children affectionately call him during his school visits, immigrated to the United States in 1976 and worked as Art Director for the Michigan Natural Resources Magazine for 17 years. In 1995, he illustrated his first children’s book, The Legend of Sleeping Bear, finally fullfilling his dream of illustrating children’s books.
Residing in Bath, Michigan, Nick and his family share their 40-acre farm with sheep, horses, dogs, cats, turkeys, rabbits, chickens, pigeons and a revolving door of orphaned and injured wild life. The family’s nature journals logged 20 years of wild life rehabilitation on the farm and it is through these journals that the popular Hazel Ridge series was created. The farm, the land and the animals make great subjects for the artist to paint.
Mr. Nick travels to schools and conferences to share his passion for drawing—encouraging kids to make their hobby their career.