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Boreal Community Media

Share the BWCA with your child: Sadie Braves The Wilderness

Jan 12, 2018 07:39AM ● By Editor

“We drove for a hundred hours past a lake called Superior. It was as big as the ocean.” 

Sadie is bold in her description of the view outside her car window, but as her family sets off on a wilderness adventure, she’s not entirely sure she’s ready to spend some quality time in the woods. Aren’t there bears? And alligators? What if it starts to rain?

Sadie’s younger brother, Benjamin, doesn’t always know to be afraid, but big sister keeps an eye out for him and enumerates his concerns—which are really her own. The north woods comes alive in her imagination as she battles “monster boulders” and “growling waterfalls” and “flying dinosaurs.” Sadie’s spunky approach turns away these fierce foes as she and her family swim in quiet pools, hike twisting forest trails, and launch their canoe on a skinny lake. On the last day, a storm blows in, and Sadie is brave for Benjamin as the wind whips branches and rain beats on the lake—and her own fear disappears. In the end, there are a hundred new little rivers to play in. And Sadie just may be a convert to the appeal of exploring the wilderness.

Available on-liine by following this link:


About the Authors:

Yvonne Pearson has published stories for children and workbooks for teens. She has written extensively for adults and has worked with children as a social worker. She is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant (2010) and two Shabo Awards from the Loft (2007, 2008). She lives in Minneapolis.

Karen Ritz has illustrated picture books and chapter books on the subjects of animals, families, and dramatic events in history. Her work has earned accolades from the National Council for the Social Studies, the Junior Library Guild, the Society of Illustrators, and the Minnesota Book Awards. She lives in St. Paul.

Review from The Star Tribune

“Sadie Braves the Wilderness,” by Yvonne Pearson, illustrated by Karen Ritz. (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $16.95.)

A timid girl discovers joy in the wilderness when she, her little brother and her parents travel “for a hundred hours” past Lake Superior, through “a thousand trees,” to the Boundary Waters, where “monster rocks” and bellowing waterfalls await. The girl scares off flying dinosaurs (herons) and alligators (loons) and finds strength and courage through protecting her little brother (who is blithely unaware he needs protection). Karen Ritz’s realistic watercolors capture the intensity of the girl’s experience.