Sadie Braves the Wilderness

writ­ten by Yvonne Pear­son
illus­trat­ed by Karen Ritz
Min­neso­ta His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety Press, 2017
ISBN: 978–1‑681–34038‑8

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

Sadie Braves the Wilderness


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.

illus­tra­tion © copy­right Karen Ritz, Sadie Braves the Wilder­ness, Min­neso­ta His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety Press, 2017

Behind the Book

Sadie’s sto­ry was born out of my own expe­ri­ence. My hus­band and I began tak­ing our chil­dren to the Bound­ary Waters when they were very young, so young that all five of us fit in one canoe. We climbed cliffs, picked blue­ber­ries, swam in water­falls, shared all of Sadie’s adventures.