Oskar's Voyage
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Oskar's Voyage

Written by Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrated by Kayla Harren
Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2024
ISBN: 978-1681342849 32 pages


A tiny chipmunk named Oskar accidentally stows away on an enormous Great Lakes freighter. Can he survive an epic trip—and find his way back home?
He scrabbles east. He scrabbles west.
He races ’til the red
A paw. A claw. A metal rail …
Oskar almost DROPS!

All at once, a crashing din
begins as tons of pellets pour
down to empty, open hatches.
Mountains rise—
of iron ore.


Downloadable Activities

Help Oskar get home!
oskar_color cover_thumbnail
Color the book cover
Now color Oskar
Oskar's feelings
oskar_great lakes_thumbnail
Name the lakes and states

Photo Gallery

View From Bow - PRT
Looking back from the bow of the PRT
Luggage up - PRT
Loading our luggage. Is Oskar in there?
Cargo hold full of coal - PRT
A full cargo hold
Soo Lock - PRT
Going through the Soo Lock - the PRT barely fits!
Photo by Monroe Harbormaster
Unloading in Monroe. Photo by Monroe Harbormaster
Photo by Monroe Harbormaster
Leaving Monroe. Photo by Monroe Harbormaster
Randy immersion suit - PRT
Randy in an immersion suit during a safety drill
Laura engine room - PRT
Laura in the engine room
St Clair unloading - PRT
Unloading coal
A 1,000-footer leaves Duluth Harbor

How this Book Got Started

Since moving to Minnesota in 1990, I've been awed by the size of Great Lakes freighters. I love watching them come and go when I visit Duluth and the North Shore of Lake Superior. In 2016, I wrote on my blog, "Someday, I swear I’m going to travel on one of these big ships (they don’t sell tickets, but sometimes raffle off a trip). Someday." In 2019, I was so lucky to get to spend more than a week sailing on the Paul R. Tregurtha, the Queen of the Lakes. That means she's the longest boat sailing the Great Lakes. Wow! Oskar's Voyage grew out of my explorations aboard the Tregurtha.

Poems I've Written

These poems connect to this book in topic, theme, or form—great for text-to-text connections!

What Detroit Knows
immersion suit
tregurtha choices

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