Josh

Author: Ross, Eileen

Subjects: Family Relationships; Farm Life; Self-Esteem; Social Relationships

Age: 9, 10, 11, 12

Grade: 4, 5, 6, 7

Order code: 1048

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 1048S

Josh Cover

Josh is an expertly crafted, engaging, entertaining, and recommended story for young readers.” – Children’s Bookwatch 

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, as well as 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 Josh will grow up to be just like him—and he worries that 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 Abigail is all kindness. Uncle Caleb wants to send the children to a foundling home in Cheyenne. Aunt Abigail points out that it is not Christian to punish the children for their father’s misdeeds. 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 counsels him about freedom from family guilt.

Josh’s days are filled with thinking that 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; we see his regard 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, and 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 letter—a letter of hope to God from a child.

All is resolved in time for Thanksgiving. Josh’s “paper” is read at the town meeting as the best assignment, and the teacher deems his work the village’s Thanksgiving theme: looking back on the blessings of the past year and ahead to blessings that 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.

Josh is an expertly crafted, engaging, entertaining, and recommended story for young readers.” – Children’s Bookwatch 

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, as well as 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 Josh will grow up to be just like him—and he worries that 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 Abigail is all kindness. Uncle Caleb wants to send the children to a foundling home in Cheyenne. Aunt Abigail points out that it is not Christian to punish the children for their father’s misdeeds. 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 counsels him about freedom from family guilt.

Josh’s days are filled with thinking that 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; we see his regard 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, and 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 letter—a letter of hope to God from a child.

All is resolved in time for Thanksgiving. Josh’s “paper” is read at the town meeting as the best assignment, and the teacher deems his work the village’s Thanksgiving theme: looking back on the blessings of the past year and ahead to blessings that 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.

Josh Cover

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