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UP in print

Christmas gift list can include these new publications

November 27, 2010
By RENEE PRUSI Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE - Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the book lover in your life?

A number of new titles have Upper Peninsula ties and would make great additions to anyone's library.


Article Photos

Written by Susan Collins Thoms and illustrated by Deb Pilutti

Published by Sterling Children's Books

This book tells the adventures of Katie, who visits a number of locations throughout the state of Michigan over the course of 12 days.

Her stops include visits to Marquette, Iron Mountain and Mackinac Island with her cousin, Will, gifting her with some Michigan-themed presents along the way. Katie tells her parents of her travels through a series of postcards.

For more information as well as MIchigan-themed activities, go to

Written by Gretchen Preston and illustrated by Karin Neumann

Published by Preston Hill Press

Set with the Upper Peninsula as a backdrop, "Valley Cats" is a story of friendship and adventure featuring two cats named Boonie and River. It celebrates the seasonal beauty of the area and conveys some regional history.

An elementary chapter book, "Valley Cats" is for children of all ages... and smart adults, too. It's the first book in a planned series.

For more information, visit


Written by Ben Mukkala

Published by Still Waters Publishing

Popular U.P. author Ben Mukkala tells the stories of lumberjacks in the early days of the peninsula.

Mukkala tells the tales of the "Shanty Boys," as they were often called, with background information on the logging industry to start the book. "Movers and Shakers" are covered as are the stories of various lumberjacks.

A number of historic photos grace the pages as well.

For more information, visit

Written by Lisa A. Shiel and illustrated by Kyle McQueen

Published by The History Press

U.P. native Shiel has put together a book of offbeat and sometimes forgotten tales of the Upper Peninsula.

Chapters include "The Wild Woods," "Tales of the Rails" and "Duped Yoopers" as Shiel shares some stories of unsolved mysteries, brawls and even murders.

For more information on the author, visit


Written by Jim Lahde

Published by Woodcock Press

Negaunee native Lahde, a retired educator and environmental consultant, has written about the politically polarized population he believes is moving closer to socialism, calling his work "an unscientific yet explorable look at the relentless march of evolutionary biology into the tribal politics behind this dilemma."

Written by Yvonne R. Lockwood, photos by a variety of photographers

Published by MIchigan State University Press

Lockwood, curator of folklife at the Michigan State University Museum and associate coordinator of the MIchigan Traditional Arts Program, has written a study of rag rug culture and the role of rag weaving in Finnish America.

The book provides a history of Finnish immigration to the Upper Peninsula as well as an examination of the tradition of rag weaving in the United States.

More than 200 photos are part of this coffeetable work, which includes visits with weavers all across the U.P.

For more information, visit

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her e-mail address is



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