Saturday I had the pleasure of reading three of my children’s canoe stories from Canoedling in Cleveland to kids at the College Park Library Book Festival near the University of Maryland. I told them about the Vermi-Lions (lion-worms) chasing my canoe on the Vermilion River near Cleveland, beavers damming a stream to build a lake for me to canoe in, and battling piranhas on the Amazon. We had a great time!
Then I got to sit at our table and tell adults about three teenagers in the book canoeing all the rivers and lakes around Cleveland in 1960 when all the Lake Erie beaches were closed due to high bacteria levels and the Cuyahoga River was dead, with no fish from Akron to Cleveland, and the oil was so thick on top that it caught fire more than a dozen times. I described how two young sleuths in the novel investigated why no African-Americans lived in their suburb and asked the question of a banker, builder, real estate agent, and historian, under the guise of exploring careers.
Saturday’s crowd bought Canoedling and Well Considered, and two Canoedling purchasers were repeat customers who bought Well Considered last year. One Canoedling buyer bought it to read to his sixth-grade daughter. It’s a book for all ages.