Portland Book Review on Mikel Classen’s “True Tales: The Forgotten History of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula”

True Tales: The Forgotten History of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by Mikel B. Claussen takes the romance out of the stories of northern Michigan. Instead, Claussen weaves a yarn of facts the way only a Yooper can. His style is approachable and very much based on the storytelling of the region, plenty of facts peppered with clever interjections.

These little-known tales are written with the respect and matter-of-fact style that readers will appreciate. While “just the facts” for the most part, with pertinent quotes from relevant materials, the odd authorial interjection catches the reader at prime moments for a laugh, or at least a quick smile.

Deeply informative, but never boring, each chapter covers a different event or person in the often dangerous and sometimes lawless Great Lakes frontier. Maybe Michigan natives especially will be surprised by these stories from the state’s past. Claussen doesn’t focus on the well-known or the glamorous stories, but instead the odd, the little-known, and the people who labored so hard to provide for themselves and their families in an unforgiving and brutal environment.

This is a wonderful volume to better understand the little-understood region that is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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Author Mikel B Classen
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 162 pages
Publisher Modern History Press
Publish Date 01-Apr-2022
ISBN 9781615996353
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2022
Category History
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U.P. Reader -- Volume #4 [PB]

SKU 978-1-61599-508-0
$16.95
In stock
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Product Details

Michigan's Upper Peninsula is blessed with a treasure trove of storytellers, poets, and historians, all seeking to capture a sense of Yooper Life from settler's days to the far-flung future. Since 2017, the U.P. Reader offers a rich collection of their voices that embraces the U.P.'s natural beauty and way of life, along with a few surprises.

The forty-five short works in this fourth annual volume take readers on U.P. road and boat trips from the Keweenaw to the Soo. Every page is rich with descriptions of the characters and culture that make the Upper Peninsula worth living in and writing about. U.P. writers span genres from humor to history and from science fiction to poetry. This issue also includes imaginative fiction from the Dandelion Cottage Short Story Award winners, honoring the amazing young writers enrolled in all of the U.P.'s schools.

Featuring the words of Karen Dionne, Donna Winters, Tyler R. Tichelaar, Brandy Thomas, Jon Taylor, T. Kilgore Splake, Joni Scott, Donna Searight Simons, Terry Sanders, Ninie G. Syarikin, Becky Ross Michael, Cyndi Perkins, Charli Mills, Tricia Carr, Raymond Luczak, David Lehto, Tamara Lauder, Chris Kent, Sharon Kennedy, Jan Stafford Kellis, Rich Hill, Elizabeth Fust, Deborah K. Frontiera, Ann Dallman, Mikel B. Classen, T. Marie Bertineau, Larry Buege, Craig Brockman, Megan Sutherland, May Amelia Shapton, Cora Mueller, and Fenwood Tolonen.

"U.P. Reader offers a wonderful mix of storytelling, poetry, and Yooper culture. Here’s to many future volumes!"
--Sonny Longtine, author of Murder in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

"As readers embark upon this storied landscape, they learn that the people of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offer a unique voice, a tribute to a timeless place too long silent."
--Sue Harrison, international bestselling author of Mother Earth Father Sky

"I was amazed by the variety of voices in this volume. U.P. Reader offers a little of everything, from short stories to nature poetry, fantasy to reality, Yooper lore to humor. I look forward to the next issue."
--Jackie Stark, editor, Marquette Monthly

The U.P. Reader is sponsored by the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA) a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. A portion of proceeds from each copy sold will be donated to the UPPAA for its educational programming.
Learn more at www.UPReader.org

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