by William Durbin
After journeying across the Atlantic with his mother and two sisters, young Otto Peltonen joins his father in the iron ore mines of northern Minnesota, experiencing the harsh labor conditions that were common at the time, as mining companies cared more about making a profit than for their workers' safety. Writing in his journal about his family's struggles and the hard life Finnish immigrants endured in the early twentieth century. Otto ultimately strengthens his resolve to find the freedom his family had first sought in America.
William Durbin is a writer and former teacher who lives on Lake Vermillion at the edge of Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. A winner of the Great Lakes Book Award and two-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award, he has published twelve novels for young readers, including song of Samp Lake, The Darkest Evening, Blackwater Ben, and Dead Man's Rapids (all from the University of Minnesota Press).
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