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Sadie is a strong, extroverted 12-year-old who sees the move from Menlo Park, CA to Eagle’s Nest, MI as a grand adventure. In this new place, she can be whoever she wants to be. She has a strong relationship with her fun-loving dad, and together they work hard to help her mom, who is emotionally fragile. They both hope that this new place will be a fresh start for Sadie’s mom. Quickly Sadie learns she is not welcome in Eagle’s Nest. Her father, a mediator called in by the DNR, is tasked with creating compromise between the hunters in the community who think the bears are a nuisance and should be shot, and the scientist who is studying the bears. Sadie has never been on the outside and isn’t sure what to do with the hostile treatment from many of the kids at school. She connects with one girl at school, which helps, and also starts to befriend the (good-looking) son of the scientist. Sadie also meets a local artist, who recognizes Sadie’s talent and offers her art lessons. As Sadie learns to draw, she starts to see her community in a new way. Her art teacher takes her to Compline (evening prayers) and Sadie is drawn in by the mystery of it all. She starts asking questions about what she believes, both in terms of faith, and in terms of the issues in her community. When her father doesn’t stand up to the hunters in the way she thinks he should, she questions his values. The focus of this first book is on Sadie stumbling into questions of faith, wrestling with them, and becoming more comfortable in the space of not knowing all the answers.

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