Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Dead Man’s Rapids

2017
Authors:

William Durbin and Barbara Durbin

Dead Man’s Rapids

The further adventures of a boy discovering the challenges and the humor of a log drive in Minnesota’s north woods in 1899

When 13-year-old Ben Ward left school to work with his Pa in a logging camp, a winter of peeling potatoes wasn’t the adventure he had in mind. Taking up where Blackwater Ben left off, Dead Man’s Rapids returns to Minnesota’s north woods in the late nineteenth century, and with warmth, humor, and attention to historical detail engages readers young and old.

When 13-year-old Ben Ward left school to work with his Pa in a logging camp, a winter of peeling potatoes and setting tables wasn’t the adventure he had in mind. Still, come spring, he signs up for the log drive with his friend Nevers, wishing the head cook on the wanigan (the floating cook shack) could be someone other than his crabby Pa. Fate, with a wink, complies, and Pa quits—only to be replaced by someone far worse: Pete Sardman, aka Old Sard, a cantankerous character complete with a greasy apron, an eye patch, one deaf ear, and plenty to say.

Luckily, there’s also the rest of the crew—a colorful, sometimes outrageous company of men. Together Ben and Nevers endure freezing weather, dangerous rapids, logjams, storms and floods, and a number of gripping tall tales, along the way learning about logging on the river and a whole lot more about life.

Taking up where Blackwater Ben left off, Dead Man’s Rapids returns to the north woods of Minnesota in the late nineteenth century, and with warmth, humor, and attention to historical detail engages readers both young and old.

Dead Man’s Rapids

William Durbin is a writer and former teacher who lives on Lake Vermilion at the edge of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. A winner of the Great Lakes Book Award and a two-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award, he has published eleven novels for young readers, including The Broken Blade, Wintering, and, also published by Minnesota, Song of Sampo Lake, Blackwater Ben, and The Darkest Evening.

Barbara Durbin is a lifelong educator who has worked as an elementary school teacher and a teacher of gifted and talented programs.

Dead Man’s Rapids

Contents
1. Where the Rivers Run North
2. Hungry Mike and the Double Header
3. Broke and Busted
4. Too Late for the Man Catcher
5. A Spoon of This and a Spoon of That
6. Old Sard
7. The Long Goodbye
8. Mischbrot
9. Under an Open Sky
10. Finger Stew
11. The Long Knife
12. A Dose of This and a Dose of That
13. Call Him Lucky
14. The Mystery of the Sugar Bowl
15. The Sweepers
16. Now You See It Now You Don’t
17. Better Than an Empty Pot
18. Dead Man’s Rapids
19. Blood and Iron
20. A Wassel Tale
21. A Hand in the Bush
22. I Wish I May I Wish I Might
23. One Shoe Off and One Shoe On
24. Dick Goes Fishing
25. The Key Log
26. Devil Mouse
27. The Sluice Gate
28. Of Toads and Tar Buckets
29. If Wishes Were Horses
30. Dead and Downed
31. The Widow Johnson
32. The Sound of Silence
33. Alles Hat Ein Ende
34. Stewed Prunes and Pickle Pie
35. The Wiener War
36. The Last Rapids
37. A Pair of Flashing Eyes
Afterword