Some Kind of Courage

Dan Gemeinhart. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-545-66577-3
Gemeinhart (The Honest Truth) delivers another emotional page-turner in this gripping historical novel about 12-year-old orphan Joseph Johnson. It’s 1890 in Washington State, and Joseph’s beloved horse, Sarah, has been sold by the unscrupulous alcoholic who took him in after his father’s death. Boy and horse have been bound together since Joseph was four, and with an unshakable moral compass instilled in him by his parents, he sets off on the horse trader’s tail, soon joining up with a Chinese boy, Ah-Kee, who has a mysterious goal of his own. While the boys cannot communicate with words, their bond grows as they struggle against relentless disasters and crises, encounter virtuous and dubious characters, and perform some good deeds. Gemeinhart gives Joseph a voice authentic to the period and his upbringing (“And it weren’t just the cold making ’em shake, neither”), which initially takes some getting used to. While the heartrending ending is a little too good to be true, it’s well-earned by Joseph and will satisfy readers accompanying him on his unforgiving journey. Ages 8–12. Agent: Pam Howell, D4EO Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/2015
Release date: 01/26/2016
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-0-545-91012-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-2322-3
Prebound-Glued - 240 pages - 978-0-606-39703-2
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-545-66583-4
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-545-66582-7
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