Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gameinhart is a nominee for the Buckeye Children’s & Teen Book Award in the grades 3-5 category.
I know there are quite a few people out there who are tired of sad books and dead parents. Some Kind of Courage is not your book. Right off the bat we have a Joseph, a young boy who lost his mother and sister to illness and then his father to an accident. The man who is supposed to be caring for Joseph is a drunk and sells his pony, Sarah, to a thug while Joseph is out doing chores.
I am probably dating myself here but this remind me a lot of the movie Wild America, where three brothers traveled across America filming wild animals for a documentary. It is the kind of story you really can’t tell with the interference of parental figures.
I liked this book much better than The Wild Robot, though I think it has more of a niche appeal. Joseph is a really good kid that stays positive throughout the book. I love the dynamic between him and his unlikely traveling companion, Ah-Kee, a young Chinese boy, the only survivor of a terrible accident.
Sadly, I don’t like the cover. I think the art is more off-putting than enticing and I dislike the chunky font. Joseph does not really look like a boy and and it completely eliminates Ah-Kee, who is present for a majority of the adventure.