Olympic Peninsula Suggested Books, Volume 1 | Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Peninsula Suggested Books, Volume 1

Written by guest-blogger and local bibliophile, Mary Brelsford. Cover Photo Courtesy of Port Book and News.

Turn the page…Visit the Olympic Peninsula.

Since the family vacations can’t come to the Olympic Peninsula soon, we’re here to help you experience our cultural diversity, natural mysteries, culinary delights and kicked-back life through books. (Plus, this will be good research for when you can come in person!) Over the next few blogs we will tell you about some of our favorite books. We’ll give you suggestions for different age groups and different genres. Stay tuned. The next blog might be for those whose culinary desires are missing the Olympic Peninsula or maybe for adventurers. You’ll have to check back.

Let’s start with books about BOATS.

Ghost Canoe Book CoverGhost Canoe by Will Hobbs. Young Adult readers, Adventure, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Ages Grade 6 and older. Published in 1997.

Edgar Award for Best Young Adult (1998), Colorado Book Award for Young Adult (1998), New Mexico Land of Enchantment Award for Young Adult (2002). After a ship wrecks off the most NW point of the contiguous United States at Cape Flattery, the son of the lighthouse keeper, Nathan, suspects that the conclusion of “no survivors” isn’t correct. With the help of a fisherman from the Makah Tribe who live in Neah Bay, they search for clues. A ghost canoe is found in the forest……and a skeleton!

While you are here, take the walk to Cape Flattery. You’ll find great birding, a world-class museum in Neah Bay, and spectacular views of Tatoosh Island and maybe some whales! It’s one of the stops on the Whale Trail.

The Boys in the Boat Book CoverIn keeping with the “boat” theme for this blog, let’s talk about the popular book, The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown. Nonfiction, History, Sports, History, WWII. Published in 2013.

This story of Joe Rantz, a teenager from Sequim without family or prospects, and his unique capabilities that contributed to the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal. Their team transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

While you are on the Olympic peninsula you can see some of Joe’s memorabilia, a boat built by the same craftsman who built the boat for the Olympic Team, and photos of the Olympic event in Berlin in Sequim. Learn more at Sequim Museum & Arts.

Boats Book CoverFor small kids, BOATS by Byron Barton. Children’s Picture Book. Board Book. First published in 1986.

Familiarize the youngest family members on the types of boats they will likely see on the Olympic Peninsula. Fishing boats in Clallam Bay and Neah Bay, Port Angeles and Port Townsend. Ferry Boats in Port Angeles, home of the Coho Ferry and Washington State Ferry Boats in Port Townsend. Riding the ferry is one of the highlights of visiting us.

There are kayaks and row boats on the lakes and sailboats out when the wind blows and sun shines. All kinds of boats.


Port Book and News LogoThanks to Port Book and News in Port Angeles for reading suggestions. Port Book and News offers curbside pickup from 11am to 4pm; free home delivery for orders over $10 to locations between Black Diamond RD and Deer Park RD after 4pm; free ground shipping for orders over $30.

More Independent Bookstores on the Olympic Peninsula

Odyssey Bookshop, Port Angeles
William James Bookseller, Port Townsend
The Writers’ Workshoppe & Imprint Books, Port Townsend
Twice Loved Books, Sequim


Read all the book list blogs:

Volume 1, Boats

Volume 2, Food

Volume 3, History

Volume 4, Sea Life

Volume 5, Romance and Adventure

Volume 6, Our Favorites