The Wanigan by Gloria Whelan
A Life on the River

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Synopsis

Before the spring of 1878, 11-year-old Annabel Lee had never even heard of a wanigan. But she and her mother are now stranded on the small floating cookshack for three months while her father and the other loggers move their timber down the river to the mills at Lake Huron.

With a constant threat of forest fires, timber pirates, and log jams, it’s a perilous journey, especially for a delicate girl who’d rather read poetry than live in the rough company of loggers. But the Au Sable river and its shores soon reveal their beauties. And by the time the wanigan nears Lake Huron, Annabel can’t imagine waking up without a brand-new surprise outside her window each morning. In a novel of rugged river adventure and evocative nature writing, Gloria Whelan brings 19th-century history—and one girl’s summer river journey—to life for young readers.
 

About Gloria Whelan

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Gloria Whelan won a National Book Award in 2000 for her novel Homeless Bird. She is the author of dozens of books for young readers, including Goodbye, Vietnam; Hannah; and Next Spring an Oriole.
 
Published April 9, 2002 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 135 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History, Travel. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Wanigan

Kirkus Reviews

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“I will be forced to live in low circumstances,” moans bookish Annabel Lee as she and her mother prepare to follow her father and other lumberjacks down Michigan’s Au Sable River aboard a “wanigan,” or floating kitchen/supply raft, with a winter’s crop of logs.

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Publishers Weekly

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After her parents sell their house in Detroit for what proves to be a worthless farm in the wilderness, and her father takes a job as a lumberjack, an 11-year-old girl ""comes to appreciate the ever-changing landscape and emerges as an immensely likable and fully realized character,"" wrote PW.

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Publishers Weekly

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After 11-year-old Annabel Lee's parents sell their house in Detroit for what proves to be a worthless farm in the wilderness, Annabel's father must take a job as a lumberjack.

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