Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Preller, James. The Courage Test.

Preller, James.  The Courage Test.  Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends       2016    212p    $16.99 ISBN 978-1-250-09391-2      ms/jr   Realistic fiction  E-BN     

When Will’s father, an academic and professor whose passions are hiking and the history of Lewis and Clark, suggests their summer vacation should be a recreation of part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Will becomes sullen and rebellious, as he will have to miss being part of an all-star baseball team.  Over the course of the two-week adventure, Will mellows and matures as they hike and canoe various parts of the Lewis and Clark trail, and he sees the grandeur of the back-country scenery.  People they meet along the way resemble some of those that Lewis and Clark encountered, and Will (and the reader) learns many historically accurate details about the 1800s expedition. The writing flows naturally between historical and current times.  This is a truly awe-inspiring book for those who have never experienced nature in its rawness, far from modern conveniences.  Will learns that courage is more than meeting a fierce bear on the trail, as he embarks on an inner journey as well as a physical journey toward maturity. Well done!                  

Summary: Father and son set out to recreate part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Will is sullen to start with, until his father shows him awe-inspiring scenery and wildlife in a native setting.  Both have their courage tested as their bonds strengthen. Grades 5-9.     

Lewis and Clark Expedition-Fiction, Father-Son relationships-Fiction, Adventure-Fiction                                                                                                                                                             —Lois McNicol

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