In recognition of March’s National Read Across America Day, this spotlight features a title from the Captain William D. Bowell, Sr. Library collection. Located in the National River Center, the Bowell Library holds over 4,000 books on topics ranging from navigation, river history and travel narratives, to cookbooks and novels.

Part- natural history and adventure, Minn of the Mississippi, follows a snapping turtle from the headwaters of Minnesota down the 2,340 miles of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Over 25 years she meets all kinds of creatures and the ones that appear the most are the people of the river towns. She encounters boats, hunters, locks and dams, and more, as she discovers the various environments of the river.

While Minn travels the Mississippi exploring its past along the way the book itself has become a piece of the river’s history. Since its publication, its popularity has made it one of the first places many children since the 1950s first learned about the river. No longer in print, older editions circulate, finding their way into collections like ours or passed down through families.