The Bells of Lake Superior by Dayton O. Hyde 98 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 Hardcover with jacket. Ages 10 and up
For Tommy Parkman, life at the close of the nineteenth century is filled with hardship. His father has died in prison, and now Tommy and his mother are crowded into a tiny apartment in the old church rectory. Though he's only thirteen years old, Tommy is a chimney sweep by trade. He scrambles across steep, slippery roofs to earn a few extra pennies for his mother, who ekes out a living by cleaning the church. For reasons that Tommy does not understand, his northern Michigan hometown is plagued by disharmony. No one smiles. Children rarely play with one another. Neighbors refuse to help neighbors. With a tone, story, and characters reminiscent of Dickens, author Dayton Hyde draws upon his own northern Michigan childhood to spin a vivid tale of darkness and redemption. The Bells of Lake Superior is a ringing testament to the transcendent power of music and the creative spirit.