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As Robert Pacquette interviews an old iron miner for his Social Study's history report, he is swept back into the life of Robert Friggens, a boy from Albany, New York, who travels to Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the mid 1800s, during this regions great iron mining period. The son of one of the first doctors in the area, Robert meets a variety of colorful characters including Michael Shane, a rough but likable ex-miner. Michael takes Robert with him by dogsled to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where they collect the mail for the Upper Peninsula mining settlement at Marquette. When Michael is injured during the trip, and his replacement never arrives, Robert must travel alone on the wilderness trail back to Marquette. To add to his trouble, he is pursued by a thief looking for the miner's gold payment. And who is that mysterious Native American? Is he a friend or an enemy? Panagopoulos has again created a novel of adventure, humor, and facts rich in historical detail that makes her a favorite of readers both young and old alike.

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