RPCV Suanna Ausema (Guatemala) writes I SPY . . . ISLE ROYALE


U.P. Notable Book Club features Susanna Ausema, author of “I Spy🔎… Isle Royale” on Sep 9th 2021


The Crystal Falls  [MI] Community District Library, in partnership with the U.P. Publishers and Authors Association, has scheduled author events with winners of the U.P. [Upper Peninsula] Notable Book List.

The ninth event is with U.P. author and park ranger Susanna Ausema (Guatemala 1988-91), who will present her award-winning children’s book “I Spy… Isle Royale.” The talk is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, on the Zoom platform. To participate in the program, contact Evelyn Gathu in advance by email at egathu@uproc.lib.mi.us or call 906-875-3344.

These talks are open to all U.P. residents free of charge. They recommend participants borrow a copy of the book from the local library or purchase from a bookseller in advance to get the most out of the events. Currently the book can be purchased from the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association website.

Ausema introduces children to the wonders of Isle Royale with rhyming verse, watercolor images and photographs. Older readers will be able to delve deeper into their exploration of Isle Royale through nature notes on each page. It also includes photos of the most commonly seen animal scat and tracks. The 40-page, full-color book comes in paperback with a soft-touch cover.

Ausema spent her childhood summers on Isle Royale. Her father was a park ranger and her mother was a park volunteer for many years. After moving away in her teens, she returned to work at Isle Royale as a seasonal ranger during her college years. There she met her husband, Mike, also a ranger, in 1998. He is the park’s East District ranger.

Susanna Ausema

After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, she earned a master’s degree in natural resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, then worked as a permanent park ranger, focusing on educational outreach at Curecanti National Recreation Area, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Redwood National Park.

When her son, Jasper, was born, Ausema became a stay-at-home mom. When he was 2 years old, the family moved back to Isle Royale and Jasper began to explore the park as if it were his big backyard. Jasper loves books and Ausema loves to write, so she felt inspired to write a story for him about Isle Royale. After the text was complete, she looked around her pool of talented friends for someone who could illustrate it. None had the time to take on the pro-bono project, so she picked up a paintbrush and started experimenting with watercolors. Jasper has helped her judge, which styles and techniques are most interesting to a young audience, and together, they’ve created this book.

She resumed her work on behalf of national parks in 2015 as the membership outreach manager for the nonprofit Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association. All proceeds from the sale of this book support these parks.

I Spy… Isle Royale was a 2020 Publication of the Year winner, awarded through the Public Lands Alliance.

To participate in the program, contact Evelyn Gathu in advance by email at egathu@uproc.lib.mi.us or call 906-875-3344.


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