Great Lakes, Great Read

Books Announcement & Website Launch Earth Day – April 22, 2024


Image of a book with a wave on the cover that says "Great Lakes, Great Read"Drum roll, please . . .  As part of the 2024 Earth Day celebrations, the Wisconsin Water Library (WWL) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) are pleased to announce the books selected for the Great Lakes, Great Read program.  

“The Water Walker” by Joanne Robertson is the children’s selection and the adult selection is “The Best Part of Us” by Sally Cole-Misch.

“The Water Walker” is the story of a determined Ojibwe grandmother, a nokomis, named Josephine Mandamin who walks to raise awareness of the need to protect nibi (water). Robertson wrote and illustrated the book, which was published in 2017. 

 Sally Cole-Misch published the novel “The Best Part of Us” in 2021 and it explores a family’s ties to an inland lake in northern Ontario, just north of Lake Huron —and how those ties are tested both through natural processes and family dynamics.

Read the Press Release


The interactive Great Lakes, Great Read website also launched on Earth Day. This ever-growing site will feature:

  • Programming ideas - Do you have ideas in mind for programming for a Great Lakes, Great Read community read at your library? We are collecting ideas and will make them available on the site. Send them to [email protected]. We are happy to credit you!
  • Toolkit - The website will also feature a toolkit for libraries and other organizations to use for their events and programs. It will contain tools for your use including the program logo, evaluation ideas, and more.
  • Bibliographies of titles related to the Great Lakes. We are still collecting titles for our deep bibliographies for adults/young adults and children. Send your suggestions to [email protected].

Author Webinar Series

Both authors will be featured in a free webinar series beginning in late September. All events will start at 6:00 p.m. and will be open to the public throughout the Great Lakes Basin area. Mark your calendar for September 25, October 2 and October 9.

Authors at the WLA Conference

Plans are underway to bring both authors to Wisconsin for visits with a variety of groups this fall. Attendees at the WLA Conference in Green Bay November 5-8, 2024, will have a chance to interact with both authors - more details coming soon!

About Great Lakes, Great Read

Great Lakes, Great Read is a basin wide community read program designed to inspire passion and connection to the Great Lakes Watershed through reading. Funded by a WiLS Ideas to Action grant, the Wisconsin program is a partnership between the Wisconsin Water Library at UW Madison and WLA and will serve as a pilot with the goal of being a catalyst for the development of similar programs in other states and provinces in the Upper Midwest and Canada.  Click here to read the press release. 


Watch this webpage and join the Great Lakes, Great Read 2024 email list for program updates:  Great Lakes, Great Read email list.