Awards and Nominations

The Jeanette Fair Memorial Award

Jeanette Fair Memorial Award Winner

Waters Like the Sky” was honored with the Jeanette Fair Book Award, by Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, presented April 18, 2015, at the Tau State convention in Bemidji, Minnesota.

This year, Delta Kappa Gamma chose from children’s books to honor; Delta Kappa Gamma is an honorary organization of women educators. Tau State is Minnesota.

NEMBA-certificateWaters Like the Sky” was also nominated for a Northeastern Minnesota Book Award in the adult fiction category, presented by the University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library, Friends of the Duluth Public Library in collaboration with Lake Superior Writers. (Awards recognize books that substantially represent northeastern Minnesota’s history, culture, heritage or lifestyle.) The 27th annual NEMBA awards were announced May 21.


Press Resources

Sample Media Release:

Contact Nikki Rajala at:
P.O. Box 372, Rockville, MN 56369

Click To View Sample Press Release

New adventure book on voyageur lore

Meet Minnesota author Nikki Rajala as she releases Waters Like the Sky, the adventure tale of a young voyageur, not so far from the great water highway, the Mississippi River.

Nikki will be at [ location ] from [time day, date] to meet readers, sign books and answer questions.

About the book

Suitable for all ages, Waters Like the Sky is the first in The Chronicles of an Unlikely Voyageur series. It tells the story of young André, a boy from French Canada who’s ridiculed for his fancy schooling. His life changes when a letter, the first one he’s ever seen, arrives at his home — all the way from France! André learns that his parents are not his birth parents, that he is the descendant of royal blood. And, an unscrupulous man is out to steal hiss family’s land and wealth. T he only way for André to stop him is to find his long-lost brother, who may be living in the vast lands west of Lake Superior as a fur trader. Though his literacy skills have caused taunting, they are also help him secure a spot in a voyageur canoe brigade and then as a clerk at a winter trading post where he can search for his brother.

Historically accurate, Waters Like the Sky speaks of adventures and the value of family and education. It follows the journey of the voyageurs, French-Canadians who embarked on the fur trade and brought tons of goods by canoe across the Great Lakes and our northern waterways, where the goods were traded for beaver and other furs.

About the authors

Nikki co-authored Waters Like the Sky with her late mother, Agnes Peloquin Rajala, who spent more than 20 years researching and writing the book. One inspiration for the story comes from their own family tree, which includes voyageurs, fur traders and explorers. Nikki’s great-great-grandfather was the last voyageur in his family line.

Though this book is the first to bear Agnes Rajala’s name, it is her fourth book. Unfortunately, Agnes passed away just weeks before receiving the news that North Star Press of St. Cloud would be publishing Waters Like the Sky.

“To help write this book, I learned how beaver hats and birch bark canoes were made,” Nikki said. “I learned that fur trading began a whole new system of commerce, and about the dangers — real and imagined — on a journey like this, and much more. We wanted to make this lesser-known era of Minnesota history exciting, to spark their imaginations.”

Nikki Rajala is also the author of Some Like it Hot: The Sauna, its Lore and Stories, a nonfiction book that draws from her Finnish ancestry. To learn more about Rajala and Waters Like the Sky, visit

She is available for interviews and presentations at schools, meetings and other events.

She resides in Rockville, Minnesota, with her husband Bill Vossler, also a freelance writer. Readers can connect with Nikki Rajala on her website:

Note: Rajala is pronounced Rye-lah.

Sample Radio Interview Questions:

  1. What is this book about?
  2. When and where does the story take place?
  3. Why is the character an “unlikely voyageur”?
  4. How much is historical fact?
  5. How did you become interested in voyageur history?
  6. How did you research and where?
  7. What was most fun for you to learn?
  8. Do I have to read Book 1 in order to understand Book 2?
  9. What support materials are available?
  10. Who should read this book?


Images – Click to Enlarge

Nikki Rajala

Nikki Rajala and Agnes Peloquin Rajala

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