The year 1816 is called The Year Without A Summer. During that summer, wild temperature swings produced snow and frost that killed crops and caused famines and food shortages worldwide. On Saturday, Aug. 23, at 2 p.m., Penobscot Marine Museum will host author Mayra Donnell, who will talk about her children’s book “1816: The Year That Summer Never Came.”

Donnell’s novel tells the story of a young girl who records in her diary what Maine life was like that year, with ice and frozen apple blossoms in May and a snow storm in June.  Attendees will learn the true story of the massive volcano eruption that most scientists now believe caused the year of unusual weather.

The talk and book signing is free and will take place in Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main S./Route 1. The museum is an historic seaport village that entertains the whole family with fun, hands-on activities, a furnished ship captain’s house, displays of scrimshaw and marine paintings, E.B. White’s sail boat and much more. The museum is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., through Oct. 19. For more information, visit or call 548-2529 or -0334.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or