Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 9:00-4:00
Downtown Edgerton Library, Tri-County Center & Sterling North Museum

For more information visit us on the web at or contact Logan Nelson at or 608-290-7181

The greatest little book festival is back! It was fourteen years ago when the first Sterling North Book & Film Festival was launched. The year was 2006. It was the 100th year anniversary of Sterling North’s life; a man whose storied boyhood brought Brailsford Junction (Edgerton, Wisconsin) to life for millions of readers and movie goers, world-wide, in his classic tale, Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era.

It is the era of World War I. Sterling’s mother, Sarah Elizabeth, dies of pneumonia in 1914, when Sterling is seven years old. Another fifty million, one-fifth of the world’s population, will lose their lives to the influenza/pneumonia pandemic of 1918. Sterling, himself, will struggle to survive the flu. Over sixteen million civilians and soldiers will lose their lives in direct combat. Sterling’s brother, John Hershel, is across seas serving his call to duty. The North’s have not heard from Hershel in months. Sterling’s father, David Willard, is doing his best to cope with all the loss and raise Sterling on his own. Sterling is also struggling to find peace during this tumultuous time.

It hardly seems the platform for glory days, and yet, somehow a better era is what Sterling North recalls.

It was an era of transition; from wilderness to agriculture, from homesteaders to townships, from horse-drawn buggies to automobiles, from war to peace, from sickness to medical miracles, and from hanging on to letting go. It was not an easy time, but perhaps the grace with which we conducted ourselves was that of a better era.  President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech, delivered to congress the preceding year, had paved the way for a world war armistice. By January, 1919, the Paris peace talks were underway.  And by the end of 1919, Hershel North was coming home.

It was one hundred years ago when Sterling North began his transition from childhood to adult. Not by dwelling on hard times, anger, and pain, but by recognizing, in the spaces between transition, that which offered him peace. He found it by hiking and fishing, in woods and on lakes. He found it from teachers and family members and especially the family dog. He found it in farm work and in building a shelter for Rascal. He found it in the wild things, along the banks of rivers and streams, in a living room-made canoe. And he found it as an adult, in the writing of his childhood era in Edgerton, and in the setting of it free; for all of us to remember the importance of finding peace and camaraderie during times of transition.

Please join us for the 2019 Edgerton Sterling North Book & Film Festival as we commemorate Sterling North’s eye for peaceful spaces and this year’s featured authors, bringing their own chronicles of peace through storytelling, poetry, and music.

9:00: Pardeep Kaleka shares his personal account of the 2012 mass shooting at Sikh Temple in Oak Creek. In the wake of his father’s murder, in the worst race-based attack in the U.S. since the KKK bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963,  Pardeep Kaleka, found reckoning in the strangest of places; the insight of a former white supremacist, Arno Michaelis, who was on a mission to stop the hate he had fueled to create against those he thought were Un-American. 

9:50: Barbara Joosse, this year’s Achievement Award Winner, discusses the importance of connecting with one another, through story; especially the need for children to feel connected to a greater story. Barbara will also give a reading in the Children’s Library at 10:40.

10:40: Rick Pfeifer takes us on a trip back to the peace movement of the seventies as he chronicles Mourning Dayze among other garage band legends over the past four decades. Rick and band co-member, Rise Hebebrand, will then grace the stage during lunch hour at the tri-county center.

11:30: Meet and greet all of the festival’s authors during lunch and entertainment at the tri-county center.

12:40: Jennifer Chiaverini, the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed historical novels, including Resistance Women, Enchantress of Numbers, and Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, as well as the beloved Elm Creek Quilts Series, is renowned for not only telling fascinating stories, but for capturing the texture of life for women, rich and poor, black and white, in those perilous years.

1:30: Amanda Zieba likes happy endings. She makes us cry and then warms our hearts in both her Orphan Train series for young readers and her Champion Chocolatier series for adults. Tears, love, chocolate, happy endings, and peace for all. Amanda will also be making school visits and hosting a writer’s workshop.

2:20: Scott Spoolman knows every hidden nook and geological cranny to find peace in Wisconsin’s State Parks. You won’t want to miss his breath-taking photographs and historical account of Wisconsin’s natural-made gems.

3:10: Mark Hertzberg is the author and photographer of three books about Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in Racine. Many of the early summer cottages have a rustic feel and are not as easily recognized as Wright’s prolific year-round domestic designs. Among them is a stunning, yet peaceful, estate on Delavan Lake in southern Wisconsin called Penwern.

Also, be sure to check out our website at for scheduled poet readings by Louis Clark and Margaret Rozga, future author readings by Delta Kappa Gamma writing contest winners, self-publishing workshops by Tovah Anderson and Amanda Zieba, house tours and slideshows at the Sterling North Museum, and the list of over thirty authors who will be attending this year’s book fair.

I look forward to seeing you there!


Logan Nelson, Administrative Director


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