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New Year´s Owl, 1986The New Year´s Owl: Encounters With Animals, People & the Land They Share

Where to buy The New Year´s Owl online: 

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell´s Books

A collection of 31 nature essays eloquently capturing the spirit of life in rural Maine. Raised in New York City, Shetterly moved to Maine some 16 years ago with her husband and young son after becoming thorouphly disillusioned with city life. What she found was a life style demanding hard physical labor, but allowing ample time for quiet contemplation and her long-sought connection with the land. Arranged by season, rather than chronologically, the stories depict both the pleasures and difficulties of rustic living, and are generously laden with colorful descriptions as well as sound information about the local wildlife and vegetation. Whether explaining a starfish's regenerative abilities, telling of her travails tapping maple trees for sap, or, in her work as a wild-bird rehabilitator, helping to save a crippled robin (who, though it will never fly, mates and has young who can and do), Shetterly's prose is artful and warm. And, in addition to keen observations of natural life, Shetterly's pieces bespeak an acceptance of nature and its cycles of life and death, and an intolerance for man's tampering with the environment--a philosophy that subtly surfaces throughout. For nature buffs, and ""back to the earthers"" in particular.Kirkus

"Susan Hand Shetterly is simply the best naturalist writing today. I was alerted to her work through a NYTimes review of best essay writing and recently read her newest title Settled in the Wild: Notes from the edge of Town. Working backwards now, to this 1986 book that covers much of the same territory in rural Maine. Her comments on the man/animal intersection are profound and her love for wildlife and nature inspires me. She is also a noted children's fiction author. Highly recommended." (Review posted on 6/13/15) - Amy Paget in Goodreads



Swimming Home

Susan's 2015 book, Swimming Home, has been released by Tilbury House. Illustrated by Rebekah Raye, the book is described as an "epic animal migration story in the tradition of March of the Penguins" that "follows a school of fish (river herring, or alewives) on a journey of hundreds of miles, escaping porpoises, seals, eagles, and herons. Swimming Home is also the moving story of a boy and his father who see the fish stopped just short of their goal by a new road, and transport them across the last hundred feet." 

Where to buy Swimming Home online

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's Books


Susan Shetterly writes with an elegance of expression that takes my breath away. Swimming Home is a simple, enlightening story, told with suspenseful pacing and a deep sympathy for the natural world. I can t wait to read this to a child in my life. --Monica Wood, author of When We Were the KennedysAny Bitter Thing, and Ernie's Ark

Susan Hand Shetterly infuses this appealing story with the sensitivity to the natural world that defines all her work. --Frank Graham Jr., Audubon Magazine contributing editor and author of Since Silent Spring

You will be swept away by this dramatic story of alewives enduring their perilous annual journey and a boy and his father who help them along the way. --Jennifer O Connell, author/illustrator of The Eye of the Whale

Swimming Home by Susan Hand Shetterly is a book about river herring or alewives as they are called on the East Coast. This book follows the alewives as they face many dangers during their journey for hundreds of miles from salt water to a fresh water spawning ground.
       Along the way, they manage to dodge seals, porpoises, eagles, and herons. Since a new road had been put into place and leaving a culvert that the fish could not swim through, the alewives' biggest challenge was actually getting to their final spawning pond. Luckily, a boy and his father come to the rescue. You will want to read more to find out what happens.
       This book would be ideal for elementary students to read while researching North Atlantic fish. In addition to the beautiful illustrations, the book contains an author's note at the end of the book. Here it delves into more scientific explanations of why these alewife herrings go from saltwater to freshwater, and the actual patterns these alewives take on their specific journeys. A student friendly description of how such anadromous fish are able to adapt to their changing marine environment is expertly given. Possible explanations of why these alewives are plunging in numbers and how this has an effect on other types of deep sea fish is provided. Information about recent alewife restoration projects underway in Maine are mentioned. This can be helpful to other coastal communities facing these same problems and remediation efforts in removing dams and obstructions as well as making new fish ladders to aid the alewives' migration. (Review posted on 1/6/2015) --Lori Cirucci, Science Teacher, in NSTA Recommends

Shelterwood, 1999Shelterwood

Where to buy Shelterwood online:

Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell´s Books


Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children, 2000 —Children's Book Council/NSTA

"The book's title—a description of how big trees protect the smaller ones—is indicative of the diverse ways of nurturing represented within this volume, including how the natural world nourishes people." —Publishers Weekly

"Shetterly's writing is spare but evocative. McCall's dreamy oil-paint illustrations perfectly complement the story." Maine Times


Muwin, 1993Muwin and the Magic Hare

Where to buy Muwin and the Magic Hare online:

AmazonBarnes and Noble

A Notable Book in the Field of Social Studies, 1993 —Children's Book Council/NSTA


Raven´s Light, 1991Raven´s Light: A Myth From the People of the Northwest Coast

Where to buy Raven´s Light online:

AmazonBarnes & Noble



Tinker, 1990The Tinker of Salt Cove

Where to buy The Tinker of Salt Cove online:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Although set in a bygone era, the themes--of the human longing for love and friendship, and the inevitability of change--are immediate. The many strong woodcuts throughout evoke the time and place of this quiet, moving story. -- School Library Journal 

Dwarf Wizard, 1990The Dwarf Wizard of Uxmal

Where to buy The Dwarf Wizard of Uxmal online:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble

A husband and wife team presents a rarely told folk tale set in Mayan Yucatan. Tol, a tiny boy hatched from an egg and raised by a poor old woman, announces to the governor of Uxmal that he is a dwarf wizard and then is challenged to a series of tests. After he balances a sow on his finger, squeezes a block of stone into a pebble, persuades the rain god to end a drought, and builds a temple in a day, the governor concedes that he is defeated; as the old woman has predicted, Tel takes his place. Presented in five chapters, this picture-book version of the legend is told in gracefully precise language. In their use of humor, informal line, and splashy color, the full-page watercolor illustrations are somewhat reminiscent of Galdone. Welcome as an entertaining story, as well as an addition to the sparse body of Hispanic folklore for children. – Kirkus Reviews