Novel Depicts Life in Early 1900s Idaho

"Topping Out" by the Katherine Wonn Harris (1899-1979) is a young girl's adventure story set in the wild Salmon River country and the high Hells Canyon Snake River country of Idaho in the early 1900's. Pages will turn fast as readers savor the lavish descriptions of nature, the hilarious antics of Smoky Mule, and the harrowing pack trip experience.

Through parts of the story, Harris pauses the narrative to give historical background about life and nature as it existed, so readers will have a sense of what it was like to live in the world being presented. Although the book is a novel, it is based on reality.

"My aunt wrote the book about her real-life adventures as a young school teacher in the wild country of Idaho Salmon River and Snake River Country beginning in 1916," said Marilyn Allen. "First publishing the book in the 1970's, she was an activist and used her writing skills to lobby for the preservation of the wildness of the region that had nurtured her growing maturity."

Being changed by this book seems likely as the protagonist Kay shares her deep fears, worries and especially her compassion for animals and people.

"Topping Out"
By Katherine Wonn Harris
ISBN: 9781504395649 (softcover); 9781504395656 (hardcover); 9781504395960 (eBook)
Available at the Balboa Press Online Bookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the author
Katherine Wonn Harris was a credentialed teacher, woman's counselor, and newspaper feature writer. She wrote "Topping Out" to describe the life and the terrain of "that great big beautiful country of the Salmon and Snake Rivers, and what is now called Hells Canyon." To learn more, please visit

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