HE WILL GO FEARLESS by Laurie Lawlor


Age Range: 11 - 14
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From snake-oil salesmen to a stormy Platte River crossing, Lawlor’s coming-of-age tale creates an authentic sense of place in the aftermath of the Civil War. Fifteen-year old troublemaker Billy learns the truth about his parentage and plans to travel to Virginia City in Montana Territory to meet the father he never met. His money is swindled away and his plans are changed when he encounters conniving yet affable Jackson and his hot-tempered sidekick Rock on the steamboat ride out of St. Joseph, Mo. Under Jackson’s silver-tongued influence, Billy soon finds himself one of Whitman’s “fearless” oxen tamers, driving a team on the western trail. Some of the dialogue between the adults is stilted and formal, the pacing in certain places plods much like Billy’s stubborn cattle and the resolution is less than satisfactory. Yet it is Billy himself, his timeless aspirations and his mentorship by the enigmatic loner Frenchy that warms the heart and affirms the power of perseverance and hope. A worthwhile rite of passage. (Historical fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-86579-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006


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