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Mackinac Bridge Review by Heidi Strawser

Gloria Whelan
Sleeping Bear Press
310 North Main Street, Suite 300
Chelsea, MI 48118

Sleeping Bear Press does not disappoint! Mackinac Bridge: The Story of the Five-Mile Poem is just another example of the great children's literature that they are publishing. This particular book is a 40-page hardcover book from the Tales of Young Americans series.

Mackinac Bridge tells of the building of this famous five-mile suspension bridge that connects Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The story centers on a young boy named Mark who is feeling torn between two worlds. He is fascinated by the building of the bridge and is excited to watch each phase of the project. However, Mark's father is a ferryboat driver; the completion of the great bridge will put his father out of work.

My entire family enjoyed reading this book together. Though written with children as the target audience, this book is based on real events, and it includes detailed, factual descriptions. The illustrations are colorful, eye-catching, and full of detail.

I don't have a single complaint about this book. Instead, I want to praise Sleeping Bear Press for publishing such educational books for children and their families. On their website, they supply parents and teachers with downloadable worksheets to accompany their books. I love this, and my girls do as well. These worksheets turn each of their books into mini unit studies.

I would definitely purchase this book. Not only was the story itself fun and interesting, but the book also contains a poem about the bridge, a note from the Mackinac Bridge Authority, information on the ferryboats, and some neat facts about the bridge. My family had opportunity to visit Mackinac Island in 1997; we actually drove across the bridge, which was, at the time, the longest suspension bridge in the world! If your children are interested in engineering or if they prefer books based on facts rather than fluff, then I highly recommend this book for your family.

Product review by Heidi Strawser, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2007