Scared SarahAuthor Mary Alice Downie Illustrated by Muriel Wood ISBN 9781550417142 Binding Trade Paper Publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publication Date July 12, 2002 Size 178 x 203 mm
Poor Sarah. She's afraid of everything - snakes, toads, even bees. And the woods are full of terrors, especially the dreaded "witch" tree, which seems to stretch out long fingers to grab at her cloak whenever she walks past. All Sarah's brothers and sisters tease her and laugh at her fears - even Caroline, the youngest in the family, is as brave as a lion.
Sarah loves her snug log house in the woods. But the wilds of Upper Canada in 1836 are nothing like the gentle countryside of her mother's home in England. And sometimes Sarah wonders if she belongs in a world that is still to be tamed by the pioneers, where a new challenge contronts one at every turn. Sarah, however, does love the Ojibwa encampment, which she often visits with her mother. The chief's son, Bright Fire, delights in telling her stories of his bravery; he will be a great warrior when he grows up.
One day Bright Fire shows Sarah his medicine bag, which he claims was a present from his shaman grandfather. Full of magic, the pouch protects him and keeps him brave. Is that the answer? Sarah wonders. Even though Bright Fire won't let her touch the medicine bag and insists it is for warriors alone, could it work for her as well? How could it hurt just to "borrow" the pouch one day? Just to see if Scared Sarah becomes Brave Sarah, if only for a little while.
Veteran children's author Mary Alice Downie tells a story about overcoming fear that will have young readers identify closely with her young heroine. And artist Muriel Wood's carefully researched illustrations illuminate the details of the past and bring them to life.
Muriel Wood is acclaimed for the accurate historical detail in her illustrations. She is the illustrator of Apples and Angel Ladders, Scared Sarah, The Olden Days Coat, Anne of Green Gables and Old Bird. Muriel lives in Port Hope, Ontario.