Carolyn Wilhelm reviews U.P. Reader #5

U.P. Reader — Volume #5: Bringing Upper Michigan Literature to the World
Mikel Classen and Deborah K Frontiera
Modern History Press
www.ModernHistoryPress.com
9781615995714, $17.95 paperback, $28.95 hardcover, 308 pages
B09253976L, $5.95 Kindle

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is also known as Upper Michigan or the UP, with people native to the area known as Yoopers. Hear it? Yooper and UP? Michigan has two peninsulas. The authors of this anthology are from the upper peninsula (don’t confuse it with the lower one with the Trolls, that won’t do). The area has a rich local culture, rough terrain, and myths. Lake Superior shipwrecks are still being discovered. Historical photos were shared by many of the writers.

Stories, poems, and interviews in this volume revolve around hunting, fishing, mining, boats, long stretches of rural roads, pasties, writing obituaries, long winters are described with humor or sad details. One story says, “mosquitoes back here could flay the flesh and the deer flies circle[d] nearby with fork and knife ready to finish off the scraps.”

I read this laughing out loud at parts that caused my husband to ask what was so funny. I had to buy him a book to finish mine in peace.

Writers, listen up! Advice for writing and a story about one author’s book currently in production to become a movie are included. People young and old alike who have lived in the U.P. learn how to enter the contests for inclusion in the next anthology.

Discussion Questions

*Note: Only ten stories were selected as I try to keep discussion limited to ten questions. However, book groups will probably have no problem finding much to discuss in all the stories. people will probably want to discuss the interview about a book being made as a movie.

  1. Your Orbit” by Barbara Bartel – the author is working through writing an obituary and manages to make it humorous. Did you like this writing piece? Could you apprentice yourself to write a similar story? What would you say?
  2. How to Hunt Fox Squirrels” by Don Bodey — is another humorous story. What struck you as funny? How do mother squirrels put their children to sleep at night? How does the author suggest a person should go about getting a good squirrel recipe?
  3. “A.S.S. for State Slug” by Larry Buege – is really about what topic? How does Officer Koski end the last protest?
  4. “Matter of Time” by Tricia Carr – seems to be about a senile old woman. Who is scheming against her? How does she get back at the schemers?
  5. “The Lunch Kit” by Deborah K. Frontiera – instead of being snowbirds with their friends in Arizona, a couple begins to care for a child they knew nothing about. How did this happen? How does counseling help? What do they decide to do about schooling?
  6. Pictures throughout the book – which pictures remind you of living in, visiting, or understanding the Upper Peninsula? Have you ever gone smelting? Eaten a pasty? Seen a mine? Watched deer in the woods? What other observations regarding the images would you like to share?
  7. The Rescue of the L. C. Waldo” by Robert Grede – this story is almost an odyssey as there are so many problems faced by the seaman and those on shore. How did people help? Would telephones have been helpful? Why did some people try to help and not others?
  8. “A Night to Remember” by Charles Hand – have you ever had car trouble on a remote stretch of road? What did the students think was going to happen to them? Gitche Gumee and Big-Sea Waters refer to what? What did you think of the plowing? The resolution? The jailer’s office night policeman forgot to do what?
  9. “Right Judgment” by Tamara Lauder – what did the flowers represent?
  10. “Requiem for Ernie” by Hilton Moore – did you realize people thought polio was catchy? Do you remember anything about the time before polio vaccines? Even now people are being told they maybe had it when they were young. Compare and contrast polio and the coronavirus.

    Carolyn Wilhelm, Reviewer
    Wise Owl Factory LLC

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    Points North

    SKU 978-1-61599-490-8
    $25.95
    Discover Hidden Campgrounds, Natural Wonders, and Waterways of the Upper Peninsula
    In stock
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    Product Details
    UPC: 978-1-61599-490-8
    Brand: Modern HIstory Press
    Binding: Paperback
    Edition: 1st
    Author: Mikel Classen
    Pages: 240

    Featuring more than 150 color photos of the U.P.'s most beautiful, historic, and natural locations!

    I've spent many years exploring the wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.), and one thing has become apparent: no matter what part in which you find yourself, fascinating sights are around every corner. There are parks, wilderness areas and museums. There are ghost towns and places named after legends. There are trails to be walked and waterways to be paddled. In the U.P., life is meant to be lived to the fullest. In this book, I've listed 40 destinations from every corner of the U.P. that have places of interest. Some reflect rich history, while others highlight the natural wonders that abound. So, join in the adventures. The Upper Peninsula is an open book--the one that's in your hand.

    "Without a doubt, Mikel Classen's Points North needs to be in every library, gift shop and quality bookstore throughout the country--particularly those located in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Not only does Classen bring alive the U.P. through his polished words, his masterful use of color photography also makes this book absolutely beautiful. Points North will long stand as a tremendous tribute to one of the most remarkable parts of our country."
    --Michael Carrier, author, Murder on Sugar Island

    "Mikel Classen's love for Michigan's Upper Peninsula shines from every page in Points North, a fascinating insider's guidebook to the exceptional beauty and history of Michigan's far north. Whether you're still in the planning stages of your trip, or you're looking back fondly on the memories you created--even if you wish merely to enjoy a virtual tour of the Upper Peninsula's natural wonders from the comfort of your armchair, you need this book."
    --Karen Dionne, author of the international bestseller, The Marsh King's Daughter

    "Many of the places in Points North may sound familiar, but Classen has spent time exploring them all, finding out the wonders others drive by and miss. And some of them may baffle you as much as they did me: the UP has a WWII glider museum? Classen has scoured every inch of the UP, visiting every campground, ghost town, lighthouse, waterfall, and beach that you may have never heard of. This book is full of surprises for even the most knowledgeable visitors to the UP. And if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself marking up the pages, making notes of places you have to visit next time you’re up north."
    --Steve Lehto, author of Death's Door: The Truth Behind the Strike of 1913 and the Italian Hall Disaster and Michigan's Columbus: The Life of Douglass Houghton

    "Until I read this book, I had not realized the large number of hidden treasures that the U.P. has. More than just an interesting history, this book is a descriptive roadmap to these treasures. Points North can be used as a guide to an adventure you would never have known about on your own. The pictures and place descriptions here are fantastic! These hidden locations have suddenly become easy to find with this book. I recommend it highly."
    --Bob Hruska, author of Humorous Hunting, Fishing, and Camping in the U.P. and Canada

    Learn more at www.PointsNorthBooks.com

    From Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com

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