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Sadie Braves the Wilderness

Sadie Braves the Wilderness

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Author Yvonne Pearson, Illustrations by Karen Ritz

Minnesota Historical Society Press (May 1, 2017)

Sadie has a lot to learn about camping, hiking, and canoeing, but a family adventure leads her to appreciate the wonders of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.


“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.

Author information

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.

Reviews and news

"This brief introduction to a national park noted for its 1,200 miles of canoe routes and for offering serenity also demonstrates how easily a child's fears of the unknown can be assuaged. Best shared one-on-one to give kids plenty of time to pore over the illustrations."
School Library Journal

Star Tribune

Pioneer Press

Lake Superior Magazine


Orange Marmalade


  • 32 pages
  • Fully illustrated in color
  • 10x10 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681340388

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