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Ross, Eileen

2 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0880921056 / ISBN 13: 9780880921053
Published by Royal Fireworks Pr, 1995
Used Condition: Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP70839758

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Josh

Publisher: Royal Fireworks Pr

Publication Date: 1995

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Colorado, 1879. Orphaned eleven-year-old Josh and his five-year-old sister Maribelle have come from St. Louis to a small, farming town to live with childless Aunt Abigail and Uncle Caleb. Josh brings with him the shame of his father's past, and his own guilt that he is ashamed of the father he feels he is supposed to love. Josh also fears that someone will find out about his father and think that he, Josh, will grow up to just like him. Inside, Josh wonders if he will. Josh dearly loves little Maribelle from whose innocence and love he draws strength.

Uncle Caleb expects hard work and offers little praise. Aunt Abilgail is all kindness. He wants to send the children to a foundling home in Cheyenne. She points out that it is not Christian to punish the children for their father's deed. Widow McClendon, intelligent, respected and obviously once very beautiful, employs Josh to do "chores." He enjoys being around her. She speaks with him, understands him, and because she, too, has a secret--she is the sister of the town's historic, infamous outlaw--she knowingly counsels him about freedom from family guilt.

Josh's days are filled with thinking his every action is universally scrutinized, trying to please his uncle on the farm and his teacher in school, and dealing with the aggressive school bully, Harlow. Josh's mettle and kind spirit are apparent throughout the story: his concern for his sister's well-being, his rescue of a puppy from certain death by freezing in the river, his concern for sick Uncle Caleb and his ability to handle both Caleb's farm chores and his own, his rescue of Harlow from a raging fire. While sitting with sleeping, sick Caleb one night, Josh writes to him from his heart about his feelings. Later, unable to find time to complete a homework assignment for Thanksgiving, he submits the lettera letter to God from a child of hope.

All is resolved in time for Thanksgiving. Josh's "paper" is read at the town meeting as the "best assignment" where the teacher deems his work the village's Thanksgiving theme--looking back on the blessings of the past year and ahead to blessings which await us. Uncle Caleb recants: the children can stay. Harlow extends a hand of friendship.

This is a superbly crafted story balancing action and contemplation.

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