Wildheart: The Darling Adventures of John Muir by Julie Bertagna, Illustrated by William Goldsmith

Bertagna takes the reader from his birthplace in Ireland to his voyage across the Atlantic and his hikes up countless mountains all over the world. This is John Muir’s story told with vibrant energy and many times in his own words from journals.

His legacy is on full display as we see Muir’s early love of the wilderness and all that lives within it. Goldsmith’s artwork is rife with action and color as his subject would have seen the world over a hundred years ago. Touching on many key anecdotes in his life, I was taken by Muir’s resilience and dedication. The time he almost loses his brother on the roof of their house and when he injures his eyes in a factory accident and loses his sight for several weeks. All these missteps point to a humility and appreciation of the wonders around him.

I feel that Bertagna’s writing is perfect for this age group. And the pacing was key to showing all parts of Muir’s awesome life.

Highly recommended for that outdoor kid who wants to learn about one of the first wilderness conservationists.


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