Title: Fearless Joe Dearborne
Author: Lisa Whitney Mitchell
Genre: Children's Adventure
Number of Pages: 134
Synopsis: Some might say he’s courageous, while others would say he’s daring, maybe even a little crazy. But when Joe Dearborne risked his life and ran into a burning building to save a puppy, the local newspaper referred to him as “fearless”—and that’s a pretty big title for a sixth-grader to live up to.
Plus, Joe already has plenty else to worry about. After other daring feats in the past, Joe promised his father he wouldn’t do anything dangerous again, and, alas, he’s just broken that promise.
But whatever trouble he expects to get into with his father, and despite the dangers he’s triumphed over in the past, nothing could prepare Joe for what he’s about to encounter when a cold, bitterness creeps into his home.
A mysterious and peculiar woman named Mrs. Chill has just been hired to care for Joe while his father is away on business. In no time, however, Joe discovers that she’s up to more than cooking and cleaning, and she has plans to destroy his family. Joe’s effort to save them results in perilous, sometimes humorous, encounters, and leads him on a journey through the threatening wilderness where he faces his greatest challenge yet.
Fearless Joe Dearborne is the adventuresome tale of a daring young man, who, despite his fearlessness, begins to question his bravery.
Joe is somewhat of a town hero. He has saved the day, and lives of children and animals alike, on several occasions without regard for his own safety. After Joe's mother passed away, his father became extremely worried about Joe's apparent lack of fear. He tells Joe to leave the heroics to the professionals. So, when Joe rescues a kitten from a burning house, his dad grounds him.
The town reporter, however, won't let the story rest and is eager to write an article highlighting Joe's rescue. He even dubs him "Fearless Joe." He tells Joe that he is so brave, but a neighborhood boy replies that bravery is acting despite your fear and since Joe isn't afraid of anything he can't be brave. Now, Joe begins to question himself. Can he be both fearless and brave?
This is such a fantastic story. There is so much going on to keep children entertained throughout the book. Joe's heroics at the beginning of the story and then the recollection of all his selfless acts are exciting. But, the odd housekeeper his dad hires gives the story a twist. She's creepy and mysterious and Joe seems to be scared to death of her. This alone will have young readers pleading for Joe to discovery the bravery that lies within him. The story teaches children about character and believing in yourself.
I recommend picking up a copy of this highly enjoyable read. Available on Amazon.