Thursday, January 21, 2016

Book Review: SOME KIND OF COURAGE by Dan Gemeinhart

Joseph Johnson is on his own. He’s lost his mother and sister to typhoid and his father in an accident. All he has left, is his horse, Sarah. But when Sarah is stolen and sold to a horse trader, Joseph decides to go after her - no matter how long it takes, or how far he has to go. After all, Sarah is the only family he has left. 

If you are looking for a BOY HAS AN EPIC ADVENTURE story, this book is for you! It’s full of sticky situations and great escapes that will keep you turning the pages at a fast clip. But SOME KIND OF COURAGE is so much more than that. It is also about the very roots of friendship and family. At the beginning of his journey, Joseph meets a boy named Ah-Kee. Ah-Kee is also alone and searching for something, but as he speaks only Chinese, Joseph and Ah-Kee can only communicate through gestures and facial expressions. Through their adventures, they learn that true friendship isn’t based on words at all, but on kindness and trust. 

While there is much joy in this adventure, the loss of his family weighs heavily on Joseph’s heart. The only link to his past, the only one he loved as much as his family, is his horse, Sarah. But once he is reunited with Sarah, would that be enough family? Joseph must decide what family means to him as he and Ah-Kee chase the horse traders across Washington state. 

This book is told from Joseph’s point of view and he is a highly entertaining narrator. Dan Gemeinhart never overburdens the reader with long passages of description, but effortlessly shows his love for his home state through Joseph’s eyes. He includes the right amount of details to make the story feel authentic in its historical setting. 

I highly recommend SOME KIND OF COURAGE. It’s a story that will make your heart break, your soul sing, and your belly ache with laughter.