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Marie Sontag


Marie Sontag enjoys transporting middle grade and young adult readers to various time periods and locations by creating stories that bring the past to life. Her fifteen years of teaching middle school and high school have given her insight into what students find entertaining, and her B.A. in social science and M.A. and Ph.D. in education provide her with a solid background for writing historical fiction.

Born in Wisconsin, she spent most of her life in California, but now lives with her husband in Texas. When not writing, she enjoys romping with her grandkids, playing clarinet and saxophone in a community band, and nibbling red licorice or Tootsie Pops while devouring a good book.

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Featured Title


Yosemite Trail Discovered

Young Adult Historical Fiction

Join sixteen-year-old Daniel Whitcomb as he juggles a growing relationship with Virginia Reed, one of the survivors of the Donner Party, helps his Miwok friend learn how to read and write, and manages the account ledgers for his guardian, Jim Savage at his trading posts in the California gold fields.

Is Jim correct when he says, You can’t possess what you can’t protect? Does that justify fighting the Yosemites after they attack Jim’s posts, or the Mariposa Battalion’s entrance into Yosemite to rout out the Ahwahneechee? And will Daniel ever make it back to Illinois to solve the mystery of his parents’ deaths?
Yosemite Trail Discovered provides an intriguing read for YA readers as they explore the clash of cultures that led to the whites’ first public discovery of Yosemite Valley.

Also by Marie Sontag


California Trail Discovered

Middle Grade Historical Fiction

After a mysterious house fire kills 13-year-old Daniel Whitcomb’s parents, he and his younger stepsister, Hannah, must move West with their guardian. Orphaned, and desperate to find a way back home to Illinois to solve the mystery of his parents’ deaths, Daniel’s trail leads him on an unexpected path. The rigors of travel by wagon train take their toll as the pioneers ford streams, argue over their chosen route, and deal with sickness, a shortage of food, and death.

Along the way, Daniel becomes friends with historical figures such as Virginia Reed, a teen survivor of the Donner Party, and Jim Savage, leader of the Mariposa Battalion, one of the first whites to discover Yosemite Valley. But can his new friendships ever fill the hole left by his parents’ deaths?


This novel captivated me with it’s memorable characters and how Marie Sontag captured the essence of the plight of the Westward seeking Americans.

-5-star amazon customer Review of

California Trail Discovered