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The National Park Service at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will host a book signing with Anna Egan Smucker, author of the children’s book To Keep the South Manitou Light, at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Anna Egan Smucker was born in Steubenville, Ohio, and grew up in Weirton, West Virginia. She has a B.A. from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and M.A. from Michigan State University. Anna has been a children’s librarian and a teacher as well as a writer. She is also the recipient of numerous awards for her books, including the 1990 International Reading Association Children’s Book Award in the Young Reader’s Category for her book No Star Nights, and the 2006 Michigan Historical Society Award of Merit for her book To Keep the South Manitou Light.
Set on South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan during the fall of 1871, To Keep the South Manitou Light tells the fictional tale of a 12 year-old girl named Jessie whose family has been taking care of the lighthouse on the island for generations. Jessie’s mother has kept the light by herself since Jessie’s grandfather died of a heart attack 10 days before the story begins. Afraid her family will lose the lighthouse; Jessie decides not to mail her mother’s letter informing the Lighthouse Service of her grandfather’s death and instead puts it in one of her mother’s canning jars and tosses it into the late. Later, as a fierce November ice storm hits the island, the repercussions of this action will not only teach Jessie about honor and responsibility, but will also give her hard-earned insight into what it means to be brave. Written for children between the ages of 8 and 12, To Keep the South Manitou Light provides regional history along with everyday lessons, all while engrossing young readers in an exciting story.