The Woods of Wicomico (1st Ed.) $2.99$15.95
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by Kate Kempton

12-year-old Coby is navigating a complicated world.

It’s summer in 1980s Texas, and Coby heads to work with his dad, B.B., a logger. At the logging site, Coby is thrust headlong into a fight for the forest and its spirit, for his family, and for his own dignity. Coby finds his courage tested beyond his wildest expectations, in an adventure through the heart of the dark and ancient woods, through a hurricane, and through his emergence as a young Black man in a color-charged world. Coby finds his strength, and his voice, with the help of the haunting bear-man, a sweet little skunk named Orphus, and the magic of an open heart.

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Meet the Author

Kate Kempton is a social justice and indigenous rights lawyer in British Columbia Canada. She is a lifelong seeker, always interested in finding ways to contribute to the earth and all living creatures.

Kate met former pro-football player-turned-pastor, Bruce “the Bearman” Smith in the 1990s. He shared accounts of his childhood—stories about growing up in the 1950s and 60s in Texas, a Black kid who cared deeply for the natural world. Bruce asked Kate to write his story to help build a kinder world for his own son, and for generations to come. Spirit of the Forest is the collaborative result of Kate’s hand and Bruce’s heart. 

Press Kit


Format: Paperback

Pages:  151

PB ISBN: 978-1-958754-04-7

Release Date: 3/16/2023


“A delightful fantasy that, like all the best fantasies, is based on some important truths—we are one with nature, and the world is full of wonders that we have not yet dreamed of.  Finding courage, love and a world that is truly joined up—a great story.”

—Bob Rae, Ambassador to the United Nations for Canada


“This is a story that I hope reeducates us to have compassion, love, and a profound commitment to build harmony, and to remember that everyone and everything, living and elemental, on Mother Earth is a blessing of the Creator. Thank you for writing this story. May it reach many hearts, young and old, in our world.”

—Jay Naidoo, former Cabinet Minister in Nelson Mandela’s first post-apartheid cabinet in South Africa; currently a social and environmental justice advocate


“Kate takes us on a magical journey of weaving and oneness. It is a journey which is of critical importance for the time we are in now on the planet. Spirit of the Forest provides a shining light for alternative ways of being on the planet, and ultimately for our survival.”

—Pooven Moodley, lawyer and Executive Director of Natural Justice, a human rights and environmental justice organization based in Africa

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