Book Review: Fearless Joe Dearborne
Author: Lisa Mitchell
Length: 135 Pages
Age Range: 8-12
Grade Level: 2-6
Buy It Now: Amazon
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.
I have a sixth grader, and I thought he’d enjoy this book. I happened to get it on a day that it was FREE on Amazon Kindle, so there was no cost to me. My kids have access to a Kindle E-reader app to read books, so I had it sent directly to their device.
The book began by asking them if they’d rather be fearless or courageous. I asked each child to write down their answer, read the book, and then write down their answer again. We’d then see if their answer changed after reading the book, why or why not, and what they thought of the book. Having three kids, we had a variety of answers both to begin and end; some opinions changed and others did not. As a parent, that’s interesting to see and a great conversation starter to get some insight as to how your children process thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. Ultimately, I was pleased to see that my kids saw that Joe was making some poor choices, and that fear can be a good thing in certain instances. They also really grasped that courage is an honorable character trait, and that overcoming your fears to help someone, and choosing to do the “right” thing is the best choice.
We enjoyed the way the story was told, the humor, and it captivated the interest of my 9, 11, and 12 year old boys who were trapped indoors during a Nor’easter.
***On the date of this posting, this book is currently FREE on Amazon Kindle. I don’t know how long that sale will last, so I’ve included a widget below so you can see the price if you are viewing this on a future date***