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      Local author tells of Michigan history in book series

      Rich in Michigan history, chock full of local artistry, and bursting with local children's ideas. All of this describes Mara MacKay's first book, "Haylee's Treasure."

      And it all started with her grandmother and a wooden bowl.

      "When she passed away, I stuck the bowl away for ten years, and then pulled it out, and then decided I wanted to find out more about this bowl that she had given and left for me. And I looked on the bottom and it said 'Munising'. I was living in Kentucky at the time, and I ended up moving to Michigan, and that's where I started to write the book," said MacKay.

      The book is a collaborative work of Michiganders. Children helped write the book, and artists contributed their work for recognition.

      "Mara got in touch with me and asked me if she could use some of my photos for her book, and I thought, sure. It'd be interesting to have a couple photos in it," said Todd Poirier, owner of Photo Synthesis Photography in Ishpeming.

      The book is based on historical accounts and artifacts in the Upper Peninsula.

      The second book in the series, "Hunter's Quest," is already written and will be ready this fall.

      Currently, MacKay is working on the third book with children all around Michigan.

      "We're engaging kids at the beginning of the writing process, and they write with us. They write collaboratively and tell us what they think the book should look like, what they think the book should be about, how they think the plot and the characters should be described," MacKay said.

      More artists' submissions are still needed for the kids to vote on, to accompany the third book entitled, "Haylee Fights the Tide," which focuses on Marquette.

      If you would like to submit your work, click here and upload a J-PEG image of your work.

      If you would like to find out more, click here.