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Join us Thursday mornings at 8:20 for Minnesota Reads on Northland Morning, featuring Minnesota authors talking about their work. Funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

MN Reads: "Controlled Burn" by Erin Soderberg Downing

 Cover of "Controlled Burn" by Erin Soderberg Downing, the illustrations of a girl and dog face a burning fire tower

The setting in Controlled Burn by Erin Soderberg Downing is fictional Thistledew, MN. However, for those familiar with the Northwoods, the town might feel familiar. "[The town,] in my mind, is Tower, MN," says the author. The locale is where we find twelve-year-old Maia who is spending the summer with her grandparents after a house fire that leave's Maia's younger sister scarred.

Anxiety and recovery are the themes of Maia's journey. For Soderberg Downing, placing her protagonist in the woods was, well, natural. "One of the ways that I deal with my anxiety is through nature... that's really why I put Maia where I did in this story; I give her this nature as a healer," says Soderberg Downing.

Controlled Burn is nominated for the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards in the category of Middle Grade and Young Adult. The book can be found wherever books are sold. "Last time I was at Zenith, they had it," says Soderberg Downing. "My hope is it's also at the Duluth Public Library. That was my... home base as a kid."

Minnesota Reads is produced at The North 103.3 with funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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