Welcome to Little Minnesota

Little Minnesota Book by Jill Johnson and Deane Johnson
Little Minnesota Book by Jill Johnson and Deane Johnson

When you think “Minnesota,” you might immediately picture the scenic North Shore or the bustling Mall of America. But Minnesota is much more than that. The Land of 10,000 Lakes is peppered with small communities, and Little Minnesota spotlights 100 towns with populations under 100. Each entry features folks who know what it means to help their neighbors and locales that range from quaint to historic.

Our little book family is growing! We’ve added Little Minnesota in World War II, (publication date June 2017) featuring the stories behind 142 fallen heroes from Minnesota’s littlest towns, and The Best of Itasca: A Guide to Minnesota’s Oldest State Park to our library as well. You’ll find information about those books by scrolling this page, or following the links in the menu above.

Little Minnesota and our other books are available at  bookstores around the state.  For a short list of stores that we have visited, see Events.  You can contact us directly at the address below, or via email with the form on the Contact page.

Little Minnesota

PO Box 649

Park Rapids, MN 56470




Little Minnesota in World War II

Little Minnesota in WWII book cover
Little Minnesota in WWII

During World War II, a total of 165 men from Minnesota’s smallest towns gave their lives for our country. Several were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, and Bronze Star. All received the award no one wanted: the Purple Heart. Most of their stories have never been told publicly. Little Minnesota in World War II, by Jill A. Johnson and Deane L. Johnson, honors these brave men from the smallest rural towns. From John Emery (who died December 7, 1941, on board the USS Arizona) to Herman Thelander (who was lost in the Bermuda Triangle, a mystery unsolved to this day), this unique book allows you to experience the war through personal accounts of the men and their families. With photos from the war, scans of actual letters, journal excerpts, and family memories, this one-of-a-kind book brings history to life and will make you feel prouder than ever to be Minnesotan.

Best of Itasca

The Best of Itasca: A Guide to Minnesota’s Oldest State Park, written and photographed by Deane Johnson, available now!

Enjoy everything Itasca State Park has to offer with this detailed guide to hiking, biking, camping, lodging and skiing in the park and also La Salle Lake State Recreation Area, published by Adventure Publications in May, 2014.  In additional to a detailed hiking guide to the park’s trails, the book includes fascinating stories from Itasca’s colorful past, and the prehistory and natural history of the land.  The book is designed for both the day visitor and for those who wish to explore the park in more depth.  With 200 color photographs and historic photos, the book also serves as a keepsake of your visit to this memorable park.  Available at Itasca gift shops, Beagle Books in Park Rapids, and other area stores, the 272-page book sells for $14.95.

Events Feature

Signing Little Minnesota in Cambridge
Signing Little Minnesota in Cambridge

Follow our Events trail as we visit several towns (some of them little) around Minnesota to support our books. We will have announcements here, but you will find more pictures and travel notes on our Facebook page, where you can leave comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Like Little Minnesota on Facebook