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Camping with the President

By Ginger Wadsworth

Illustrated by Karen Dugan

( from the book's dust jacket )

Camping with the President by Ginger Wadsworth, Illustrated by Karen Dugan book cover

Camping with the President
by Ginger Wadsworth - Illustrated by Karen Dugan
(Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek Books, 2009) Hardcover, 32 pages.
Ages: 8 and up
Grades: 4–6

Imagine a U.S. president on a camping trip. It seems unlikely today, but in May 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt dismissed his Secret Service men and sent away reporters and dignitaries to go camping with John Muir, the world-famous naturalist. For three glorious nights and four days in California's Yosemite national Park, the two men talked about birds, giant sequoia trees, glaciers, as well as the importance of preserving wilderness for future generations. They slept under the stars, built blazing campfires, traveled on horseback, and enjoyed the beauty and the uniqueness of the area. "It was bully," President Roosevelt said on his last morning as he climbed into his stagecoach and waved good-bye to John Muir. Setting aside new national parks and monuments became one of the cornerstones of Roosevelt's presidency and was a direct result of this camping trip.

Author Ginger Wadsworth, who has written about Yosemite and Muir before, and illustrator Karen Dugan carefully research this true story, relying on primary documents and working closely with experts in the field. Camping with the President shows how two individuals were powerfully affected by one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders, Yosemite National Park, and by each other.

About the Author

Ginger Wadsworth is an award-winning author of children's books. She loves the history of the American West and often explores forts, ghost towns, museums, and even old cemeteries. She lives in northern California near John Muir's ranch, now a historic site. Yosemite National Park, the setting for this book, is one of her favorite spots for camping, hiking, and bird watching. Besides touring Sagamore HIll, Theodore Roosevelt's home in New York, she has visited Pine Knot, the President's rustic vacation cabin in Virginia. Some of Ginger's titles include John Muir, Wilderness Protector, Giant Sequoia Trees, and Words West: Voices of Young Pioneers, winner of the Spur Award for Juvenile Nonfiction from the Western Writers of America.

About the Artist

Karen Dugan has worked on more than twenty-five books, eight with Boyds Mills Press, including If I had a Snowplow by Jean L.S. Patrick; Tea Party Today: Poems to Sip and Savor by Eileen Spinelli; and Mr. Tuggle's Troubles by LeeAnn Blankenship, which was named a Notable Children's Book by the International Reading Association. Her love of history and research began while working at the eighteenth-century Van Cortlandt Manor in New York.She lives in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Calkins Creek
An Imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc.
815 Church St.
Honesdale, Pennsylvania 18431

See Annotation in Children's Books section of Annotated John Muir Bibliography.

For an excellent preview of this book, see the Book Trailer for Camping with the President on YouTube. (off-site link)


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