James Brakken is donating LARGE PRINT editions of The Treasure of Namakagon to senior care centers in northern Wisconsin. (See press release far below.) You can help by
1. suggesting facilities BVP should send books to, and/or
2. making a donation. (Donations are matched by James.)
To donate, click on the "DONATE" BUTTON above and follow the prompts.
All donation info is guaranteed secure.

The retail price of a book is $25. S&H is $4 for a total of $29. James Brakken will pay half. Your $14.50 donation will result in a large print copy being sent to the senior care facility of your choice. The book will note name(s) of the donor(s) and be signed by James.

Thank you for helping to share the history of the old lumberjack days with our elders confined to rest homes, nursing homes and similar care facilities.  James

        Cable Author Donates Large Print Books to Senior Care Centers

           Author and publisher, James Brakken, announced recently that he will donate large print editions of his award-winning 1880s lumberjack adventure novel, The Treasure of Namakagon, to regional nursing homes and senior care facilities across northern Wisconsin. The books, valued at $25 each, are printed in 16 point font and contain larger illustrations than the standard size novel. The effort to provide the large print books to those confined to senior care centers will be paid for by sales of Brakken’s standard-size softcover books and from donations.

            “I’m donating these books,” said Brakken, “because many of our older readers identify with the local history within my lumberjack tales and the large print text makes for easier reading, something older readers often appreciate. Although my books are written for all ages, seniors enjoy them as much as anyone,” said Brakken. “Each story, each sub-plot, is based on something that happened in or near Hayward long, long ago. And each of my characters, whether good, bad, young or old, is based on someone I have known.”

Brakken’s effort to distribute the large print books to the elderly confined to senior care facilities will start in Sawyer, Bayfield, and Ashland counties, where Brakken’s novels take place. As funding from book sales and donations arrive, more books will be shipped. A list of senior care centers is now being established. Anyone wishing to add a care facility to that list is invited to visit the Large Print Donations page at Brakken’s website,

All three novels in Brakken’s Chief Namakagon trilogy have now been published in large print.  Set in Hayward’s old timber harvest days, book one, The Treasure of Namakagon, and its sequel, Tor Loken and the Death of Chief Namakagon, focus on the life of a boy who finds himself in a lumber camp near Cable. There, he meets Ogimaa Mikwam-migwan, or Chief Namakagon. The chief mentors the young man while the camp struggles to ward off a malicious lumber baron out to bankrupt the camp. Chief Namakagon (a real person) and his legendary silver mine, maps, and press clippings lend authenticity to key story sub-plots, as do many other actual events that took place before the turn of the 20th century. Although fiction, Brakken’s “Namakagon” books are based closely on the history of life in northern Wisconsin in the 1880s.

Book 3 in the series is The Secret Life of Chief Namakagon. Brakken's research revealed that Chief Namakagon had a turbulent, adventurous past. This book looks at his years as an abducted child, a brave and feared warrior, a skilled hunter who saved a village from winter starvation by applying his hunting skills, a war hero who saved hundreds of lives in one brave act, a writer whose book was widely published in the US and Europe, an explorer, a victim of an attempted assassination, a man wanted for murder, and more! You will be amazed at the true story behind the secret identity of Chief Namakagon.

James Brakken’s books, including these large print editions, are available with free shipping from his website, The standard size books are at Marketplace Foods and Northwood Crafts/Ben Franklin. Northwind Book and Fiber in Spooner and Redbery Books in Cable also carry the books, as does Many other preferred area outlets also carry his novels.


2013 ABNA Contender


Brakken entered The Treasure of Namakagon in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) competition in January. Unlike traditional literary contests, ABNA is open to independent, self-published authors. Of the 10,000 worldwide entries, The Treasure of Namakagon tied for second place in the general fiction category, rising above 9,975 other novels. This resulted in Publisher’s Weekly Magazine commenting, “This is a fascinating tale of the men who harvested the pines in Wisconsin’s North Woods. Namakagon, an Ojibwa chief, is at the heart of this story of the land and its preservation. There is a strong sense in this book of oneness with nature. There’s rip-roaring action, a beautiful girl, and great yarns rivalling Paul Bunyan. The book is so well-written. Difficult to put down; a great read.” And Amazon Books said, “The writing style of this piece is its greatest strength.” “The flow of the words is like an old fashioned song.”

“All who have reviewed Treasure have left positive comments,” said Brakken. “But it has a special appeal to northwestern Wisconsin. Each book contains over 25 tales based on historical records. These tales are neatly woven together to create the larger story. In my books, the reader is taken back to the days when Hayward earned the designation, “timber capital of the nation” by milling more lumber than any other city in the U S, ever. This included A. J. Hayward’s mill putting out over 330,000 board feet of pine in one day, a world record. It was a time when hard-working immigrants, farmers, displaced cowboys, Civil War veterans, and many others flocked to the north woods to cut and haul pine. With them came miners in search of silver, copper, and gold and businessmen, politicians, gamblers, prostitutes, charlatans, con-artists, and ne’er-do-wells, all intent on sharing the wealth. It was a time when the Hayward region had almost no regulation, the closest law official being in Chippewa Falls.

“The pinery, as they called it then, was, by far, wilder than the wild west,” said Brakken, who has researched the era extensively. “Like the bustling iron-mining community of Hurley, Wisconsin, Hayward soon achieved due notoriety. The phrase, “Hayward, Hurley, and Hell” became a mantra that would survive for decades. And, as the old timers will tell you, the order used was no mistake—Hayward coming before Hurley and even Hell. It was also a time when this region was responsible for putting Wisconsin on the world economic map. And those who saw the beauty of the north soon partnered to turn this into the outstanding place to live that it remains today.”


Public Participation


To add an senior care facility to James Brakken’s list of places soon to receive free Large Print books, visit the LARGE PRINT DONATION page at There, secure online contributions can be made in any amount. All contributions will be matched by James Brakken’s Badger Valley Publishing and donors will be noted on the inside cover along with the author’s signature.



The goal is to donate a large print edition of The Treasure of Namakagon to every senior care center in northern Wisconsin. To date, over 30 books have been donated and more will soon be on their way. Anyone can help by donating toward the effort. Each $14.50 donation results in another book being sent. And all contributions will be matched by James Brakken’s Badger Valley Publishing in Cable, Wisconsin.


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