Posted by: Kath Usitalo | October 19, 2012

Friday Freebie: Michigan History for Kids

The print version of the quarterly magazine is long gone, but the content lives online

Long before Google was a word, Michigan travel writer Doris Scharfenberg shared a research tip with me.

She said that if she needed to get up to speed on a topic and didn’t have much time she’d head to the children’s section of the library and consult a reputable book about the subject. The information, geared to young minds, was easy to digest in short order. If she wanted to delve deeper she could head to other areas of the library for more in-depth reference material. Her boat load of awards indicates the technique worked for her (of course, she also engaged readers with her wit and writing style).

In a recent Great Lakes Gazette post about the upcoming tributes to the Edmund Fitzgerald, the ore carrier that went down in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975, I included links to two websites with extensive information on the subject of the doomed lake boat. At libraries, museums and bookstores—at least in Michigan—you can find numerous books and DVDs on what’s probably the most famous of the many Great Lakes shipwrecks.

Find the stories, without the colorful artwork, at the Michigan e-Library

But if you’d like a shortcut to the essentials, or would like to share the tale with children who’ve never heard of the tragedy, check out the story that appeared in the Winter 2004 edition of the magazine Michigan History for Kids: Life on the Lakes.

Michigan History for Kids was a colorful quarterly published from 2001-2009 by the State and Michigan History magazine. (The Historical Society of Michigan continues to produce the big kids’ bi-monthy Michigan History.)

You can find the Michigan History for Kids content without the art that accompanied the stories (what, no pictures?!) online at the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL).

Subjects include Detroit’s 300th birthday (September 2001 issue), Michigan wildlife (June 2005), the Underground Railroad in the State (December 2008)  and copper mining (June 2009).

There’s a wealth of information for the curious of all ages at MeL. I look forward to doing more exploring at the site.

To tap the Michigan Electronic Library:

Click here to go to the Kids Gateway at MeL

  • Select “General Reference Center Gold”
  • Select “Publication Search” in the orange bar
  • Enter “Michigan History for Kids” into Publication Search

Or you could just Google it.


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