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.
Historical fiction is not my favorite, except when it is also a fantasy or steampunk. But when it is done well, as this one is, I usually really enjoy it. The author Dan Gemeinhart really brings his characters and setting to life with his writing. Although you feel sorry for Joseph and Ahkee through out the book, you root for them too. And even though you know they will beat the odds every time during their many adventures, you’re never quite sure how they will do it and they usually surprise you. This is at the surface a book about a boy and his horse, but it is so much more. It is about courage, doing what’s right, friendship and most importantly family.
Andrew Eiden’s narration is excellent and really added to the enjoyment of this book. The story is told through Joseph and we hear his thoughts and feel his emotions throughout. Andrew did an excellent job of expressing Joseph’s range of emotions, from when he was afraid to his joys and sorrows. An excellent audiobook that I highly recommend.