Mackinac Bridge: The Story of the Five Mile Poem (Tales of Young Americans)

by Gloria Whelan (Author) Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen (Illustrator)

Mackinac Bridge: The Story of the Five Mile Poem (Tales of Young Americans)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Set in the late 1950s, this is the moving story of a young boy whose father operates a ferryboat between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas. As young Mark witnesses the building of the new Mackinac Bridge, he is torn between family loyalty and eager anticipation. He can't help being awestruck by the majesty of the five-mile-long bridge that will connect the two peninsulas and change the lives of so many. But the Mighty Mac will also put Mark's father out of business. As his father struggles with the flow of progress, Mark dreams of future bridges he will build. Details of the complex construction of the bridge will fascinate children as they learn an important part of America's history and come to understand the meaning of change. The Mackinac Bridge Authority provides history notes at the back of the book.
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Gloria Whelan
Gloria Whelan is an award-winning and critically acclaimed author of many books for children and young adults. She won the National Book Award for young people's literature for her novel Homeless Bird. A versatile author of historical and contemporary fiction for children and young adults, as well as short stories and poetry for adults, Whelan is, according to Liz Rosenberg in the Chicago Tribune, "an accomplished, graceful, and intelligent writer." She lives in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and you can visit her at

Nancy Carpenter is the acclaimed illustrator of Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt, Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine, Fannie in the Kitchen, and Loud Emily, among other books. Her works have garnered many honors, including two Christopher Awards and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Sleeping Bear Press
Publication date
September 01, 2006
Tales of Young Americans
BISAC categories
JUV016150 - Juvenile Fiction | Historical | United States - 20th Century
Library of Congress categories
Fathers and sons
20th century
Design and construction
Mackinac Bridge (Mich.)
Michigan Notable Books
Winner 2007 - 2007

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