True maritime stories told in graphic-novel style This beautifully illustrated book for children ages 8–11 relates dramatic moments from Great Lakes maritime history in a graphic-novel style. The book’s five true stories span four centuries but take place in one location: a dangerous stretch of water near Lake Michigan’s western shore that is known as “Death’s Door.”
Young readers will devour these tales of tragic accidents, mysterious disappearances, and heroic moments. The stories feature a 17th-century fur trading crew, an 18thcentury Potawatomi trading party, a mail carrier and a shipbuilding family from the 19th century, and an early 20th-century basketball team. The narrator is Death’s Door itself, who wonders why people insist on crossing its treacherous waters, concluding it is “because they are human. Ambitious and restless . . . but loving too.”
An informative afterword provides insight into the author’s sources and features archival images and additional historical details about each of the stories.
Author & Illustrator
BARBARA JOOSSE is an award-winning author of more than 150 books for children. She lives in Port Washington, Wisconsin. Joosse is also the author and narrator of Shipwreck Walking Tour, an app she created with the Port Washington Historical Society.
RENÉE GRAEF is an award-winning illustrator of more than 80 books for children. She divides her time between Los Angeles and her home state of Wisconsin. Graef is also the illustrator of the Wisconsin Historical Society Press book Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes.
Joosse and Graef’s previous collaborations include Everybody’s Tree, Lulu & Rocky in Milwaukee, and The Fishermen, the Horse, and the Sea.
- Ages 8-11
- Grades 3-5 and beyond