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Magda’s Odyssey is a lively YA wilderness adventure novel. At the outset the spunky fourteen-year-old protagonist, Magda, discovers a life altering secret–her parents are not her parents and she has an identical twin sister out there somewhere. Determined to find her, Magda runs away from home and into the wilderness, travelling ever east. Her journey leads her deep into the mountains where she battles hunger, injury, wild animals, armies of insects and her own loneliness. Magda is helped along the way by beloved animals and the kindness of unexpected friends. Readers will learn plenty about surviving in the wild as well as how to fight for their dreams. Adventures abound and the book becomes impossible to put the book down.
stalking the wild heart
Stalking the Wild Heart is a unique eco-literary novel set in the 1970’s and told through the voices of childhood friends, Emily and Rachel. While introverted Emily remains to homestead at Loon Lake, near the isolated mining town where they grew up, extroverted Rachel strikes out to see the world. The narrative strands converge when Rachel returns and visits Loon Lake. Here everything ended and began anew for Emily. Up against an abusive marriage and corporate greed, Emily’s life begins to unravel as she plunges down a dangerous path in order to save the wilderness she loves. A series of mysterious and life-altering events pull the reader relentlessly towards the startling conclusion.
samira the singing salmon
This is a poetic children’s book that follows the journey of Samira, the Singing Salmon. The illustrations, beautiful paintings by Deanna’s daughter, Natalia Vanessa, compliment Kawatski’s story, a tale that perfectly blends the musical, the mystical and the factual, as the tale traces the remarkable journey of the sockeye salmon. Samira, the Singing Salmon, both informative and inspiring, has been picked up by parents and teachers alike, all with the common goal of teaching their children about this stunning natural phenomenon.
burning man, slaying dragon
“Burning Man, Slaying Dragon” is an exciting, high stakes, spiritual adventure that spans decades, continents, cultures and generations.” In the 1970’s, Deanna Barnhardt Kawatski set out on a dangerous quest that took her from Berlin to India in the company of a stranger. Decades later she accompanied her daughter, Natalia to the notorious Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Kawatski keeps the reader right by her side as she negotiates the hairpin turns of road and destiny.”
My Life is in Your Hand
My Life is in Your Hand (the many loves of Sophia, a Norwegian rebel & Shuswap pioneer) is historical fiction based on the life of the author’s great-grandmother, Sophia. Raised on a farm in Norway in the 1800’s, Sophia, still a young woman, finds unimaginable courage to leave her home and family and to cross the ocean alone with a dream of finding her el Dorado. This was in a time when women were only beginning to be considered “persons” in the eyes of the law. Her only defense was her hatpin coupled with her fierce sense of independence. As she moves from desperation to opulence to fighting for her very survival, the other voice braided into this saga is that of her great-granddaughter, Nina. At home in the Shuswap in Canada, Nina knows that Sophia’s life journey will ultimately land her there. Their conversation spans time, generations, space–even life and death. It stands as a stark reminder that our ancestors are never far away.
about the author
deanna barnhardt kawatski
Deanna Barnhardt Kawatski was born in Salmon Arm, British Columbia and grew up in Kamloops, B.C.. She travelled extensively in the 1970’s and spent three years living in Europe, her travels financed by intense bouts of tree planting back in B.C.. Deanna met author, George Ryga in 1974 and he beame her mentor. In 1978 she worked as a forestry lookout attendant in Northern B.C. where she met her hermit husband. For the next thirteen years she led the life of a pioneering mother in the wilderness.