In the coldest, darkest hours of the night, in the time of the night Mam always called the "angels and devils hour," Joseph Johnson is about to do something wrong. He simply has to.
His mother and his litlte sister, Kate, are dead. His papa has been crushed by their wagon on a small slope that shouldn't have even been a problem.
What's left of his world comes down to his horse, Sarah, and his rifle, and his life under the domination of a man he cannot respect. Joseph's father begged Mr. Grissom to care for Joseph and he gave Mr. Grissom all the family's worldly goods. It was a tough bargain.
Now Mr. Grissom has sold Sarah, Joseph's beloved horse, to get drinking money. There is just no way Joseph is going to let someone walk off with the only family he has left.
So, holding his papa's gun as steady as he can, he faces the drunken Mr. Grissom, takes the money that is rightfully his, hoists his pack and heads out into the night. One boy alone in a man's world.
His journey to find the man who bought Sarah has begun. Down the road he'll make some choices and one of those will be to make a friend of a Chinese boy named Cheng. The path's of the two boys will merge and together they will take on life in these early times of American history.
From the publisher:
Joseph Johnson has lost just about everyone he's ever loved. He lost his pa in an accident. He lost his ma and his little sister to sickness. And now, he's lost his pony-fast, fierce, beautiful Sarah, taken away by a man who had no right to take her.
Joseph can sure enough get her back, though. The odds are stacked against him, but he isn't about to give up. He will face down deadly animals, dangerous men, and the fury of nature itself on his quest to be reunited with the only family he has left.
Because Joseph Johnson may have lost just about everything. But he hasn't lost hope. And he hasn't lost the fire in his belly that says he's getting his Sarah back-no matter what.
The critically acclaimed author of The Honest Truth returns with a poignant, hopeful, and action-packed story about hearts that won't be tamed... and spirits that refuse to be broken.
234 pages Ages 10-14 978-0545665773
Read Alikes: I Witness Novels by Avi; the Dragon Series by Lawrence Yep
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com