Tomcat and his friends have a paddlewheel steamboat and travel up and down the Mississippi River carrying mail and performing impromptu shows at the river towns on their route. (Of course, I had to destroy civilization to arrange it for them.) They have a strict rule against carrying passengers, which is broken a chapter and a half into the book. The rest of their adventures illustrate why that was a good rule.
Published as a YA novel (Harcourt, 1992), these days it might even be considered a middle-grade book. I grew up near Winona, Minnesota, on the upper Mississippi River. Back then, there was a decommissioned steamboat, the Julius C. Wilkie, turned museum there...Read More