The Way of Courage
As a parent, what was I looking for? A book my youngest would devour, like so many that had gone before, and a book that would satisfy the heart and mind of his not-nearly-so-bookish older brother. Getting and keeping the interest of an "animal lover not so interested in reading" eleven-year-old and, at the same time, passing the critic reviews of a well-read ten-year-old. These were the parameters set before me as I began to write this story. I soon learned that the only way I could fully tell Mia's story was from a raccoon's perspective; after all, it was her story. So that's what I did.The Way of Courage has eighteen short chapters, part 1 and part 2, with a "Nature Knowledge" series about raccoons. It is illustrated with pen-and-ink chapter pictures and is a middle-grade reader of about eighteen thousand words. The story begins when Mia, a young raccoon, is caught in a live trap on her way to capture a chicken for the family's dinner. Her survival is not in doubt but how she copes, suddenly thrust into the real world, is the story. The Way of Courage is about survival, adventure, friendship, love, family, and courage as Mia learns to survive and then to thrive in a place far from her home. It was in this place that she met Harrison Cotan III; Mia called him Coe. Together, with the help of their friends, Mia and Coe rid their place in the woods of an unsavory character the sheriff called "hard time." The story ends the way it began, with love and family and a song of the heart.
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