Folktales and Legends of the Middle West

by Edward McClelland, with illustrations by David Wilson

A history of the region as told through its folklore, music, and legends. “Entertaining, informative, appealing, charming, and a thoroughly compelling read from first page to last." —Midwest Book Review

America's first superheroes lived in the Midwest. There was Nanabozho, the Ojibway man-god who conquered the King of Fish, took control of the North Wind, and inspired Longfellow's “The Song of Hiawatha.” Paul Bunyan, the larger-than-life North Woods lumberjack, created Minnesota's 10,000 lakes with his giant footsteps. More recently, Pittsburgh steelworker Joe Magerac squeezed out rails between his fingers, and Rosie the Riveter churned out the planes that won the world's most terrible war. In Folktales and Legends of the Middle West, Edward McClelland collects these stories and more, offering a magical history of the region and some of its larger-than-life characters. Readers will encounter all sorts of creatures here, including:

  • Nain Rouge: the Demon that Haunts Detroit
  • Peg Leg Joe and the songs of the Underground Railroad
  • Mike Fink and the Pirates of Ohio
  • The Hodag, the terror of Wisconsin’s North Woods
  • Bessie, the Lake Erie Monster 

By Edward McClelland (How to Speak Midwestern) and with gorgeous black and white illustrations by David Wilson, it’s a wonderful look at the magical tales and folk traditions informing the American Midwest.

A book with something for every midwesterner. 

Praise for Folktales and Legends of the Middle West:

"Much of the pleasure in these tales might be called “truthful hyperbole” today. But instead of simply declaring feats of strength or eating to have been “the best,” the stories craft unforgettable images."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Entertaining, informative, appealing, charming, and a thoroughly compelling read from first page to last...unreservedly recommended." —Midwest Book Review

Edward McClelland is the author of How to Speak Midwestern. His writing has appeared in publications such as the Columbia Journalism ReviewLos Angeles TimesNew York Times, and Salon. He lives in Chicago.

See also our Midwest Starter Pack

JUNE 15, 2018 | ISBN: 978-0998018812 | MYTHOLOGY & FOLKLORE | PAPERBACK | 8 x 10 | 160 PAGES


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