Marven of the Great North Woods Cover

Marven of the Great North Woods

When the influenza epidemic strikes Duluth, Minnesota, in 1918, Marven's parents send him far away from the danger of the disease. This is a true story of a small Jewish boy and a bearish French-Canadian lumberjack... and how they became friends under the most unusual circumstances.

With a daughter's fitting reverence, Lasky tells the story of her father, Marven, who was sent away from his family at the age of ten to work in a logging camp. Duluth, Minnesota, is plagued with influenza in the winter of 1918, so Marven's parents send off their only son to the great north woods for the winter. As the train pulls away, Marven is in the middle of nowhere; he must ski five miles to meet his new employer. The young boy is given the job of bookkeeping and the daunting task of waking the lumberjacks who linger in bed in the morning. Marven grows close to Jean-Louis, the giant sleepyhead of the bunch. Hawkes's illustrations are as moving and effective as the story, especially when Marven appears in the snowy loneliness of the north country. Hawkes characterizes the burly lumberjacks with humor and style, cleverly contrasting them with Marven's childlike innocence. This book is a happy adventure that brims with rugged excitement.

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award


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