John Coy
John Coy
author • speaker • educator

My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall’s Story

My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story

My Might Journey
by John Coy, illustrated by Gaylord Shanilec
Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2019
hardcover, 40 pages

My Mighty Journey is the story of the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River—and the changes it has witnessed over twelve thousand years. Written from the perspective of the waterfall, the narrative considers the people who lived nearby, the ways they lived, and how the area around the waterfall changed drastically in the past two centuries.

Internationally acclaimed artist Gaylord Schanilec created stunning visual images featuring material collected along the riverbank to show the progression of the waterfall—eventually known as St. Anthony Falls—as it moved fifteen miles upriver from present-day St. Paul to its current location in downtown Minneapolis.

You may be surprised to learn that the falls has not always been locked in place. Perhaps more thought-provoking is that Europeans and their descendants have resided near the falls for less than three percent of the time people have lived here. My Mighty Journey helps readers realize that many of us are newcomers to this region and that there is so much to learn about the waterfall, this land, and our place in it.


“...a glorious poem to water, history, time, change. Highly recommended!”
—Naomi Shihab Nye
Young People’s Poet Laureate
2020 Riverby Award Winner for exceptional nature book for young readers


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