EL PORTAL — Yosemite Conservancy is pleased to announce that its book, “Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir,” written by Julie Bertagna and illustrated by William Goldsmith, has won a 2019 National Outdoor Book Award. As described by the awards committee, the book is “perfect for keeping a child’s interest.”
The National Outdoor Book Awards is a non-profit, educational program that honors outstanding publishing and writing in the outdoor field. “Wildheart,” a graphic biography treatment of the extraordinary life of John Muir, won in the Children’s category, one of ten highly competitive categories.
Yosemite Conservancy’s publications inspire people to preserve and protect Yosemite National Park’s resources and enrich the visitor’s experience. Their books also aim to inspire the next generation of stewards of public lands. In addition to publishing books, Yosemite Conservancy also operates as the park’s primary philanthropic partner; books sales directly support Yosemite National Park.
“Wildheart” has been honored previously: The book won a 2019 Eureka! Honor Award from the California Reading Association, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Foreword Reviews, which wrote “The beauty of “Wildheart” is that it delivers its message effectively and enjoyably for both children and adults.”
John Muir was an inventor, writer, mountaineer, amateur botanist and glaciologist, fruit farmer, world traveler, early environmentalist — the list of his interests and accomplishments is lengthy. However, Muir wasn’t always the bearded sage we remember. He was a hardy boy who valued the outdoors and who worked hard and backed up his strong opinions with rigorous — often death-defying — research.
Without John Muir’s many daring adventures in Florida, California, Alaska, and South America, there may not have been a worldwide national park movement. Imagine no Grand Canyon National Park, no Yosemite, no Mount Rainier, among others. The story of John Muir’s life shares with young readers that each individual can make a difference.