One Book Northland has selected "The Wind and the Drum" by former Cloquet teacher Katharine Johnson as its 2018 choice.
2018 marks the 17th year the One Book project has brought Northland communities together to celebrate reading. Each year, a book is selected and in April, the author often makes an appearance to talk about the book. This year, the Duluth Public Library, along with the Cloquet Public Library, Two Harbors Public Library, and Kathryn A. Martin Library at the University of Minnesota Duluth will host events through April related to the book.
Though not the first time, the author of this year's chosen book is local.
Katharine Johnson grew up on the Iron Range, and published her book, "The Wind and the Drum," in 2017. Geared toward young adults, the book is suitable for a wide range of ages.
"The Wind and the Drum" is set in the 1670s in the Arctic lands of the midnight sun, where the winters are long and harsh. Sami people migrate with the reindeer they depend on for food, clothing and shelter.
Tuuli was marked from birth to be the next noaidi of her people. She will be wind listener and keeper of their most sacred drum. But the wind whispers to her that strangers are coming — strangers who threaten the reindeer and demand the Sami give up their drums and ancient beliefs. Tuuli refuses, hiding one of the drums and setting off on a series of perilous journeys to save her people, their way of life and, ultimately, herself.
Johnson was a language arts teacher at Cloquet High School and was later director of the school's media center. In the late 1970s, she taught Spanish during her lunch breaks. She retired in 1999. Her previous publications are "Company's Here" in Ladybug magazine, "Ada," "Forgiveness of Sins" and several poems in anthologies.
Community members and area book groups are invited to read the book and hear Johnson speak about her experience Tuesday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Fitger's in Duluth.
For more information about these free events, visit DPL's calendar at duluthlibrary.evanced.info/signup/calendar.