My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story

My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story

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Overview

I am


a powerful


waterfall.


I listen.


I pay attention.


I have a long memory.


You might find it hard to believe,


but I have moved through time.





My Mighty Journey is the story of the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River—and the changes it has witnessed over twelve thousand years. Written from the perspective of the waterfall, the narrative considers the people who lived nearby, the ways they lived, and how the area around the waterfall changed drastically in the past two centuries.




Internationally acclaimed artist Gaylord Schanilec created stunning visual images featuring material collected along the riverbank to show the progression of the waterfall—eventually known as St. Anthony Falls—as it moved fifteen miles upriver from present-day St. Paul to its current location in downtown Minneapolis.




Many are surprised to learn that the falls has not always been locked in place. Perhaps more thought-provoking is that Europeans and their descendants have resided near the falls for less than three percent of the time people have lived here. My Mighty Journey helps readers realize that many of us are newcomers to this region and that there is so much to learn about the waterfall, this land, and our place in it

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681340081
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 639,643
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 13.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

John Coy is the author of young adult novels, the 4 for 4 middle-grade series, and fiction and nonfiction picture books. He has received numerous awards for his work including a Marion Vannett Ridgway Award for best debut picture book, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, Notable Book for a Global Society, the Burr/Worzalla Award for Distinguished Achievement in Children’s Literature, and the Kerlan Award in recognition of singular attainments in the creation of children’s literature. johncoy.com



Gaylord Schanilec is an artist, writer, letterpress printer, designer, and illustrator. His recent fine-press work includes Mayflies of the Driftless Region, Sylvae, and Lac Des Pleurs, a trilogy about the intersection of art and science. He has earned numerous awards, including the Gregynog Prize, the Carl Hertzog Award for excellence in book design, and a Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowship. midnightpapersales.com

Read an Excerpt

Where a creek joins the river,

ice hangs

off

my face

like a

beard.

People sit around a fire

telling stories about me.

Off my shoulder, a pack of wolves,

silhouetted in the moonlight,

searches for something to eat.

As I move up the narrow gorge,

I become smaller.

A boy and his grandfather

catch fish below me.

The grandfather describes how I’ve changed

so that the boy will be able

to tell his grandchildren.

Reading Group Guide

[pages 4–5]

I am

a powerful

waterfall.

I listen.

I pay attention.

I have a long memory.



You might find it hard to believe,

but I have moved through time.



[page 6–7]

I remember

twelve thousand years ago.

Water roars over

my massive face,

wearing away

my sandstone

body.

My limestone ledges jut out

and when these

crack

and crash

below,

my new stone face emerges

upriver

from the

fallen

rock.



[pages 8–9]

When the river splits

in two,

I move back with the smaller branch.

Nearby, hunters throw spears

into the belly of a woolly mammoth.

They give thanks to the animal

because they’re desperate for food.



[pages 10–11]

Where a creek joins the river,

ice hangs off

my face

like a

beard.

People sit around a fire

telling stories about me.

Off my shoulder, a pack of wolves,

silhouetted in the moonlight,

searches for something to eat.



[pages 12–13]

As I move up the narrow gorge,

I become smaller.

A boy and his grandfather

catch fish below me.

The grandfather describes how I’ve changed

so that the boy will be able

to tell his grandchildren.



[pages 14–15]

When an island is in the middle of me,

a Dakota man, who calls me Owamniyomni,

offers a decorated beaver robe

and asks for blessings.

On the bank, a Franciscan priest

claims he’s discovered me and

says my name is le Saut Saint Antoine de Padouë,

the Falls of Saint Anthony of Padua.



[pages 16–17]

When I recede again,

a mother and daughter taste chokecherries

and decide the fruit’s not quite ripe.

Back in their garden,

they check corn and beans and squash.

The girl looks up at me,

then waters thirsty plants.



[pages 18–19]

DOBULE PAGE SPREAD/ No words



[pages 20–21]

People pour in

and scramble to harness my power.

Belts hum, blades spin, and metal clanks

as white pine is cut into lumber.

When booms break, logs escape,

crashing over

my face

and jamming

in front of me.



[pages 22–23]

As I move farther upriver,

workers begin

a tunnel from one island

to another, but disaster strikes.

The tunnel collapses

and a whirlpool sucks debris

and blasts it out the other end.

“The falls is going out!” a boy yells.

I’m terrified

that this is the end.



[pages 24–25]

The break expands and I panic.

Finally, men build dams and fill the tunnel.

Later, they put up a cement wall

and construct a wooden apron on top of me.

I’m cramped and I cannot see,

but it’s the only way to save me.

After my long journey,

I’m locked in place.



[pages 26–27]

It’s painful to be confined

while so much changes nearby.

Trains of wheat roll in.

Up

goes

the largest flour mill ever built.

Passengers cross the Stone Arch Bridge

and call out when they see me.

Minneapolis uses my power and boasts

of making the best & most flour in the world.



[pages 28–29]

But as electricity replaces my waterpower,

mills in the area shut down.

Workers create a huge lock

to move boats and barges around me.

An observation deck opens

and a girl admires my new concrete cover.

But barge traffic is less than planned

and business near me declines.



[pages 30–31]

Abandoned buildings crumble.

The last train crosses the bridge

and men put up a fence

to keep trespassers off.

A fire breaks out in an old mill

and blazes in the night.

Far fewer visitors find me.



[pages 32–33]

Today, the Stone Arch Bridge is open

to walkers, runners, and bikers.

Nearby, Dakota drummers

pound out beats

and sing the old songs.

Former mills have been converted

into places to live and work

and, once again, people come to me.



[pages 34–35]

After my mighty journey,

fifteen miles over twelve thousand years,

I stay in this spot.

I am no longer as massive as I was.

I don’t receive as many offerings,

but I am still powerful.



I am still here.



[pages 36–37]

More About the Mighty Journey



[pages 38–39]

Author and Illustrator Note



[page 40: bibliography]

Customer Reviews