Workshop > Week One
Jul 12

Week One

First: These are the questions

This week, we are reading chapters 1 -7 (read through seven) of Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart. We will be reading this section from July 24th to July 30th. Remember to read FIRST, and THEN take a look at the activities for this section.

Remember, to post here, you have to hit RESPOND.

Note that you don’t have to do all of the prompts, or even any of the prompts! You could just post your opinions about the book, or start a conversation with someone else. You can even head over to the chatroom and chat about the book there.



General. What are your reactions to the book? Do you like it? Do you like the characters? Do you like the writing style? Post your general thoughts here, or go share them in the chatroom.

1. Joseph left home with the clothes on his back, a pistol, and a wad of money to travel over dangerous mountains for days just to get his horse Sarah back. Though, despite being a 12-year-old way in over his head in the wild (which has already injured him thanks to a bear), he is still trying to get his horse. 
Is there something you would travel over mountains and through danger to get back? What would make you as determined as Joseph is?

2. In chapter five, and in the beginning of chapter six, Joseph and Ah-Kee get attacked by a mama bear trying to protect her cubs. The two go through a harrowing adventure involving, running through the woods, getting swiped at, a pistol, and losing their pants. Eventually, Ah-Kee makes the bear leave by simply sitting down and talking to it.
Write this scene from the perspective of the bear. Why did she attack in the first place? What was she thinking when Ah-Kee suddenly sat in the middle of the road to tell her his life story?


Think about what you would have done if you were being attacked by a mother bear? Would you have shot her to save your life like Joseph did, or would you have reasoned with the mother like Ah-kee did?

3. All within sixty pages, Joseph had his horse taken, he ran away from home, he befriended a lost Chinese boy, they were attacked by a bear, Joseph helped an injured Native-American boy, and Joseph challenged someone to a horse race. That’s A LOT.
What do you think of this fast-paced style? Do you like that the story keeps moving so quickly? Is it keeping you engaged? Or do you wish the book would slow down more and focus on the details?


“The leaves on the trees by the river were already into their fall changing, painting my path with all their reds and yellows and oranges… Puffy pink sunrise clouds hung in the sky above the foothills of the mountains that crowded all around me and the river. It was the kind of sight that would have made Mama put her hand to her cheek and say, “Oh bless the world for its beauty!’” (pg 9).
Gemeinhart’s novel is set in the 1890s in western America — before the time of modern development and industrialization. The scenery has a certain beauty that we can only try and imagine through Joseph’s descriptions.

Where is the most beautiful location you have been to, or seen a picture of? Is it the garden behind your house? The beach you spent a vacation at? A mountain you saw a post card of? Share a picture of the spot, and tell us why you thank the world for its beauty.