Timmy O’Dowd and the Big Ditch written by Len Hilts
This novel is set in the 1800’s during the Glory days of the Erie Canal. Follow Timmy and his ‘canawler’ family through one summer of their life. Although this book is fiction, it weaves in many historical facts. Learn how the Erie Canal triggered the population spread into the current day west (Illinois, Indiana), which modern tools were invented during the digging process and how locks and berms were used to bring barges up the 571ft climb up to Lake Erie. You might need to practice your Irish accent for this one though as many of the ‘Canawlers’ were Irish immigrants. It was a fun read.