"July 26, 1906 Climbing into the cage and being lowered back down into that mine was the hardest thing I've ever done.... I kept thinking about all the times that Wally and I had passed by the very place where those timbers had exploded. The question is, where and when will it happen next? "You're quitting," was the first thing that Mother said when I got home. I was ready to agree until I thought it over. It was easy to quit, but what would come next? Would Father quit, too? We couldn't move back to Finland. We couldn't afford a farm yet. No matter which way I looked at things, the answer was always the same–for now the Oliver Iron Mining Company owned me lock, stock, and barrel."
"This book would not have been possible without the support of my editor, Amy Griffin, and the production staff at Scholastic; and the dedication of my agent, Barbara Markowitz. For help with my research I would like to thank Heikki Honkala and Annikki Ojala of Lehtimäki, Finland; Lasse Autio of the Soini Historical Society; Michael Karni, Ph.D., of Sampo Publishing; Ed Nelson, Deb Fena, and Julie Smith of the Iron Range Research Library; Halyna Myroniuk of the Immigration Research Institute in St. Paul; Lorraine Richards of Suomi College; Michelle Prigge of the Hibbing Historical Society; Tom Selinski, producer of the documentary Spies in Steel; John Geiselman and Marcia Smith, retired educators and former residents of old North Hibbing, and the staffs of both the Hibbing and Virginia Public Libraries. Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to all of my Finnish friends on the Mesabi Range who have been so willing to share stories about their heritage."