The Courage Test

 
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Hard bargains.  The Bitterroots.  Grizzly bears.  The Lewis and Clark Expedition was full of challenges and hardship as Will and his father witness as they follow the trail of the Corps of Discovery. It's the summer when Will was supposed to be on the All-Star team but for some unknown reason his divorced parents decided he and his father would take the journey of two hundred years ago to see it all through the clean, clear, new eyes of Will.  His dad has been writing a book about the Expedition for thirteen years and at this point he is drowning in the information and losing touch with the personal side of the trek.

A few centuries ago life was hard.  Things didn't come easy. You had to persist and maybe suffer a little and take some big risks.  These days  Will is comfortable living with his mother and taking this trip with his father doesn't feel good. His dad is weird and he and Will don't have the moments of real connection and fun that Will has with his mom.

So, the two set out.  Will gives his father a hard time.  Will's father does his best to stay cool.  But what Will never expected is to realize how the hardships that the explorers ran up against have some present day relations. We have our fair share of hard bargains and risk taking.  We have our fair share of hard knocks. They aren't coming from grizzly bears and we aren't sleeping in the wilderness wondering where our next meal or water comes from, but we still get knocked around a bit.

Slowly paced, this is a journey of the relationship of a father and son set in the context of the modern day challenges with the backdrop of what life was like on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  For those who enjoy character driven stories with fathers and sons who can't find each other.  Don't expect an action-packed thriller.

978-1250093912  224 pages  Ages 12 -14  (teenage pregnancy)

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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