Book Launch Party with Mary Morton Cowan

September 15, 2018 – 10:30 am

Join local author Mary Morton Cowan for the launch of her latest juvenile nonfiction book, Cyrus Field’s Big Dream: The Daring Effort to Lay the First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable. The riveting story of Cyrus Field’s big dream and his courage to pursue it, despite numerous setbacks, resulted in one of the nineteenth century’s greatest achievements. Mary will be celebrating her book release at the Main Library on Saturday, September 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Attendees will participate in a variety of hands-on STEM activities, Morse code messaging, and a scavenger hunt! Copies of Mary’s book will also be available to purchase and be signed at the event.

About the Book

In this nonfiction middle-grade title, award-winning author Mary Morton Cowan explores the extraordinary achievement of Cyrus Field and one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century: laying a transatlantic telegraph cable to create instant communication between two continents.

Cyrus Field had a big dream to connect North America and the United Kingdom with a telegraph line, which would enable instant communication. In the mid-1800s, no one knew if it was possible. That didn’t dissuade Cyrus, who set out to learn about undersea cables and built a network of influential people to raise money and create interest in his project. Cyrus experienced numerous setbacks: many years of delays and failed attempts, millions of dollars lost, suspected sabotage, technological problems, and more. But Cyrus did not give up and forged ahead, ultimately realizing his dream in the summer of 1866. Mary Morton Cowan brilliantly captures Cyrus’s life and his steadfast determination to achieve his dream.

About the Author

Award-winning author, Mary Morton Cowan, has focused on writing for young readers for more than twenty-five years. Her books include Cyrus Field’s Big Dream: The Daring Effort to Lay the First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable, Captain Mac: The Life of Donald Baxter MacMillan, Arctic Explorer, Timberrr…A History of Logging in New England, and Ice Country: One Boy’s Adventure in the Arctic with Commander Donald MacMillan. Her articles, stories, and activities have been published in nearly 100 issues of children’s magazines, and a number of them have also been reprinted in textbooks and anthologies.

Library programming is sponsored by the Friends of the South Portland Public Library. For more information, call Youth Services at 767-7660 x 3.