By Barbara Joosse. Illustrated by Renée Graef
Young Lester Smith is part of a fishing family on Lake Michigan. He loves playing on the beach with his little sister, helping Mama with chores, and watching the neighbor’s big horse pull Papa’s fishing boat onto shore. But Lester understands that the lake can be “soft as a kitten one day and terrible as a sea monster the next.” On the autumnal equinox of 1895, a wicked storm rolls into Port Washington, damaging a schooner on the lake and putting the lives of its two crewmen in danger. Will Lester, his family, and the horse save the day?
This beautifully illustrated children’s book is based on a true story and recounts a dramatic rescue on Lake Michigan. Young readers will be introduced to Lester Smith and his family, who founded Port Washington’s long-running and beloved Smith Brothers Fish Shanty.
Educational materials including definitions, an illustrated map of Lake Michigan, and short biographies of the story’s featured characters supplement this engaging story for elementary-age readers.
Reading Level: Ages 7-10, Grade Levels 2-5
BARBARA JOOSSE is an award-winning author of more than fifty books for children. She lives in Port Washington, Wisconsin.
RENÉE GRAEF is an award-winning illustrator of more than eighty books for children. She divides her time between Los Angeles and her home state of Wisconsin. Joosse and Graef ’s previous collaborations include Everybody’s Tree and Lulu & Rocky in Milwaukee. Graef also illustrated the Wisconsin Historical Society Press book Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes.