Letting Swift River Go by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Barbara Cooney, is the featured children’s book in a new reading resource series from Hilltown Families.

Letting Swift River Flow:  Literature Guide for 4th Grade (PDF)

Western Massachusetts author Jane Yolen’s book, Letting Swift River Go, tells the story of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir through the eyes of a young girl named Sally Jane.

Read more about the human story behind the Quabbin Reservoir in this thoughtful guide to the prize-winning children’s book about four towns that were flooded in the 1930’s to create a drinking water supply for Boston.  The literature guide provides teachers and families with valuable instructional strategies to build children’s literacy skills and place-based activities to extend interdisciplinary learning.  The guide is aligned with Common Core State Standards and provides links to local resources (see below).  Thanks to Robin Huntley for developing the guide and sharing it with River of Words along the Connecticut River.

Quabbin Reservoir
Photo credit: Dan Diffendale

To supplement studies of the Quabbin Reservoir, take a trip to explore it:

The Quabbin Visitor Center offers interpretive programs about the area’s history, and other local organizations provide educational events as well, including the North Quabbin Woods Quest. The Friends of Quabbin’s website offers information on local and natural history, and provides information about where to go for further research.  The Swift River Valley Historical Society works to keep alive the story of the four “lost towns” through museum collections and events.