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Sophia Discovers the Real Treasure, A Story of John Muir, Father of the National Parks


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"Sophia Discovers the Real Treasure" engenders a passion for the glorious wilderness and the indigenous people who once dwelled therein.

Curt Casetta’s Sophia Discovers the Real Treasure A Story of John Muir, Father of the National Parks unfurls a light, playful and witty historical journey of the Yosemite National Park. The cheeky Sophia introduces us to, the Sequoia, a redwood, coniferous tree that is breathtaking to nature lovers like me introduced to this tree for the first time. She journeys with Red and happily gets to ride on his mule, Jack, in her dream of finding treasure. Meanwhile, she stops and observes trees, plants, flowers, and insects. Red acts as her tour guide, while Jack is quite silent on the journey and leaves all the chatter to Red and Sophia.

Red and Sophia view “ majestic waterfalls” and “soaring canyons” while he recants to her the story of John Muir and his encounters with the indigenous people. This wonderful picture book proves ideal reading for children as well as persons of all ages who enjoy reading. The narrative is captivating, while the language is crisp and catchy. The language is designed to capture children’s attention and their imagination. The book’s picture illustrations are eye-catching and grow increasingly complex, and intriguing. The narrative engenders a passion for the glorious wilderness and the indigenous people that once inhabited its sacred space.

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I am a Global citizen residing in one of the Happiest Caribbean Countries: Trinidad and Tobago. I am a Teacher of English and Communication Studies. Reading and creating book reviews are my favourite pastimes. I wrote several reviews currently published on Amazon and Goodreads.


Was conservationist John Muir a hero, or not? Sophia travels back through time with an old prospector, Red, and his trusty mule, Jack, to learn about the life and times of John Muir (Father of the National Parks), both good and bad. Red shares Muir's love for nature, as well as introduces how Indigenous Peoples in Muir's beloved Yosemite region were horribly mistreated. It gives Sophia, and the readers, some important topics to consider and discuss. The ending includes a revelatory surprise. With a Foreword from renowned Muir archivist/expert Mike Wurtz and an Afterword that further details changes forced upon Indigenous Peoples, especially in Yosemite. Also includes a timeline and actual photos of Muir, along with a bibliography. Text is 550 Lexile (US Grade 3).
This is a companion to 2020's "Sophia Saves the Earth, A Story of Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day," which Nelson's daughter, environmentalist Tia Nelson, called " inspiration to children everywhere."

And about which Midwest Book Review wrote:

"Color photos and drawn make the story of "Sophia Saves the Earth" exciting and immediate to young readers. "Sophia Saves the Earth" is a great gift to any child and also the future of the Earth."

About the author

I've written for newspapers, magazines, and even textbooks. As an elementary educator, I made my students sing the backwards ABCs. I play guitar and love to write. I live in West Bend, WI, with my wife, Jodi, and my sometimes-mischievous cat, Bluebell. view profile

Published on March 20, 2022

Published by Trenton House Publishing

2000 words

Genre: Picture Books

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