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2002 Read Michigan Selections

Following is the 2002 Read Michigan list, featuring recommended books about Michigan or by Michigan authors published in 2001. Read Michigan, an annual Michigan Week tradition since 1991, is now coordinated by the Library of Michigan. This is our first list.

The committee members include Kim Laird, Kris Rzepczynski, and Karrie Waarala, all of the Library of Michigan, Sam Spiegel, Partners Book Distributing Co., and George Weeks, Detroit News.

Adopted By An Owl: The True Story of Jackson, the Owl, by Robbyn Smith Van Frankenhuyzen. Illustrated By Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen. Sleeping Bear Press. Vividly illustrated, this children's story portrays a family who adopt and care for an owl until he is strong enough to be released back into the wild.

Angels in the Architecture: A Photographic Elegy to an American Asylum, by Heidi Johnson. Wayne State University Press. A photographic history of the Northern Michigan Asylum located in Traverse City, supported by recollections of former patients and staff members. An architectural jewel that permanently closed in 1989, the facility treated more than 50,000 patients since its founding in 1885.

Before Motown: A History of Jazz in Detroit, 1920-60, by Lars Bjorn. University of Michigan Press. This book traces Detroit's impact on the history of American jazz before the city became world renowned for the Motown sound. Full of insightful interviews with many of the musicians themselves, the book also places Detroit's jazz scene within its social context, as the city became increasingly divided by race.

Custer and the Little Bighorn: The Man, the Mystery, the Myth, by Jim Donovan. Voyageur Press. A plethora of photographs, paintings, and maps complement this new biography of the famous Michigan Civil War general.

Detroit Biography Series for Young Readers (series). Wayne State University Press. This series for young readers features biographies of individuals who have impacted the history of the Detroit area. The series includes:

  • Albert Kahn: Builder of Detroit
  • First Lady Of Detroit: The Story Of Marie-Therese Guyon, Mme. Cadillac
  • Reuther Brothers: Walter, Roy, And Victor
  • Willie Horton: Detroit's Own Willie the Wonder

Detroit Then And Now, by Cheri Y. Gay. Thunder Bay Press. This collection of photos dramatically pairs black-and-white historic photographs with a color image of the same scene, as it exists today. View the Detroit of yesterday and today, with such notable landmarks as old City Hall, Saint Anne's Church, and the Michigan Central Railroad Station.

Discovering the Peoples of Michigan (series). Michigan State University Press. This ongoing series studies the multicultural history of Michigan. Each book examines an ethnic group, their history in the state, and the many challenges that they face today. The series includes:

  • African Americans in Michigan
  • Albanians in Michigan
  • Amish in Michigan
  • Ethnicity in Michigan
  • French Canadians in Michigan
  • Italians in Michigan
  • Jews in Michigan

The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark, by Tom Stanton. Thomas Dunne Books. Attending every 1999 home game during the final season at Tiger Stadium, the author reflects on the Detroit of his youth, his childhood and family, and how the ballpark helped bring all of these things together. Encounters with Al Kaline, Ernie Harwell, Elmore Leonard, and fans and stadium ushers all shed insight into the continuing magical allure of "The Corner."

Frontier Metropolis: Picturing Early Detroit, 1701-1838, by Brian Leigh Dunnigan. Wayne State University Press. Using rare maps, portraits, and sketches, the book traces Detroit's early history from the city's founding to the introduction of photography. Engaging the reader, these images vividly illustrate the history of the emerging city and the lives of its early residents.

Girl in Blue, by Ann Rinaldi. Scholastic. A fictitious Civil War adventure in which 16- year old Sarah Wheelock enlists in the 2nd Michigan Infantry regiment disguised as Neddy Compton. She serves as a male nurse and later works as a Union spy.

Historic Cottages of Mackinac Island, by Susan Stites and Lea Ann Sterling. Photography by Lanny Sterling And Lea Ann Sterling. Arbutus Press. A pictorial look at seventy-three cottages, including the Governor's Residence, that were constructed on Mackinac Island between 1870 and 1910. Color photographs of the cottages as they look today complement the written histories of the homes and their owners.

Idlewild: The Black Eden of Michigan, by Ronald J. Stephens. Images of America (series). Arcadia Publishing. This photographic compilation explores the history of the African-American resort community in Lake County, Michigan. The Images of America series also examines the photographic record of other Michigan communities, including Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Detroit, St. Clair Shores, and Marquette.

In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of its Survivors, by Doug Stanton. Henry Holt. Soon after delivering parts of the atomic bomb to be used on Hiroshima, the USS Indianapolis was sunk by the Japanese. The survivors, including Michigan resident Dr. Lewis Haynes, drifted aimlessly in the Pacific Ocean for five days, fighting off shark attacks and hypothermia, before being rescued by the U.S. Navy.

Leonardo's Horse, by Jean Fritz. Illustrated by Hudson Talbott. G.P. Putnam's Sons. See the story behind the American Horse at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in this children's book. An artistic idea envisioned but never finished by Leonardo da Vinci, the horse was subsequently completed by a pair of American artists in 1999. One bronzed statue remains in Milan, Italy, and the other resides in Grand Rapids.

Michigan Remembered: Photographs From the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information, 1936-1943, edited by Constance B. Schulz. Wayne State University Press. An interesting collection of 150 photographs of Michigan during the Depression and World War II from the collections of the Library of Congress. The photographs depict urban and rural landscapes from across the state, Michigan on the home front, and other representative images from both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

Our Hometown: America's History, As Seen Through the Eyes of a Midwestern Village, by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds. Sleeping Bear Press. This history of Chelsea, from its founding in 1834 through the present, illustrates that the town is reflective of the American experience. Full of vintage photographs, the book explores the village's local businesses, famous personalities, contributions to the Second World War, and much more.

Ruin and Recovery: Michigan's Rise as a Conservation Leader, by Dave Dempsey. University of Michigan Press. An environmental history of Michigan, this book focuses on two public conservation efforts that helped put Michigan in the national spotlight. The first developed in the late nineteenth century in response to the excesses of the lumber industry, and the second grew from the push to clean the state's air and water in the 1960s and 1970s.

Schooners, Skiffs & Steamships: Stories Along Lake Superior's Water Trails, by Howard Sivertson. Lake Superior Port Cities. A wonderful collection of artistic paintings and companion stories from the Lake Superior region. The paintings illustrate the importance of the Great Lakes and their waterways to the settlement and development of the entire region.

Stories From My Life in Baseball, by Ernie Harwell. Detroit Free Press. Stories and recollections from the Hall of Fame radio broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers.

Traver on Fishing: A Treasury of Robert Traver's Finest Stories and Essays About Fishing for Trout, by Robert Traver. Edited by Nick Lyons. Lyons Press. A collection of writing by the late famous Michigan author, in which he reflects on fishing with colorful tales and anecdotes set in the Upper Peninsula.

Updated 05/08/2013