Marisa and the Mountains

Children - Picture Book
44 Pages
Reviewed on 11/26/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Award-winning writer George Johnson believes in the power of literature to create empathy. All of his work reflects his long-time advocacy of social justice for which he received the YMCA Peace Medal in 2019. His screenplay Peace Pledge, the remarkable story of the Peace Pledge Union, the strongest pacifist movement in history, received Honorable Mention in the Euroscript Screenplay Competition and the New Renaissance Film Festival (London), and was an Official Finalist in the Cannes Screenplay Contest. His picture book Sophia’s Secrets won the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association Children’s Story competition and will be published by Clavis Books in 2022. Marisa and the Mountains was a Finalist in the San Francisco Writers
Conference Writing Contest.

From Waterdown, Ontario, in 1991 he moved to Kamloops, British Columbia, where everything seemed tilty at first. Canoeing, camping, and cross-country skiing now count among his outdoor passions. Living surrounded by mountains, with a wife from the prairies, inspired him to write Marisa and the Mountains.

For over 25 years he has been a Professor in the English and Modern Languages Department at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, where he teaches creative writing and Modern literature, as does his wife and sometime collaborator Nina. He tests all of his stories on their two kids, who somehow have become teenagers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite

Marisa And The Mountains by George M. Johnson is about a girl who lives deep in the mountains. Tall pine trees surround her. Her brother loves the mountains and likes hiking the hills, but Marisa is fearful of bears and cougars. She doesn’t like walking uphill, but she certainly loves riding her bike downhill. The only thing that isn’t fun is having to walk back up the hill with her bike in tow. Tobogganing is also fun, but sometimes there is too much snow and she gets stuck. When the snow is bad, she has to play inside. The snow stays on some of the mountain peaks all year long and the water in the lake is cold well into summer. This particular summer she visits her cousin in Saskatchewan. Unlike her home, Saskatchewan is flat and she doesn’t care too much for it. She can’t believe how flat the prairie is, and soon enough she is at her destination. She is introduced to her cousin Rosie who looks a lot like her. Marisa enjoys doing things that she normally wouldn’t at home. When she gets back to the mountains, she realizes that she does love them, and sets out to draw Rosie a picture of the mountains she will see when she comes to visit.

I thought Marisa And The Mountains was a fun and unique read. It gives children a glimpse of life in an environment that is different from their own. The story describes all the sights and sounds that would surround you if you lived in the mountains. Marisa is also a very adorable character that I think a lot of children can relate to. She teaches the young reader a very important lesson, which is to appreciate what you have. Sometimes it takes stepping away and going elsewhere before you realize this. The illustrations are also beautifully done and fit with the storyline perfectly. George M. Johnson has done a wonderful job with this children’s book and I cannot wait to see his other works.