In all the ways that matter, Mark is a normal kid. He’s got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day. But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never get better from.
So Mark runs away. He leaves home with his camera, his notebook, his dog, and a plan to reach the top of Mount Rainier — even if it’s the last thing he ever does.
Mark has cancer. His dying wish is to climb Mount Rainer. Armed with a small stash of cash, a backpack of meager belongings and a duffel bag in which he hide his dog Beau he hops a train to Seattle. He is long gone by the time his parents realize he has gone missing. And given his condition it doesn’t take long before the police are on a full-scale search for Mark and the dog. His best friend Jessie, knows where he is headed and why but she is determined to keep his secret even knowing how much pain his parents are suffering.
The book is written in chapters and half chapters, alternating between the POV of Mark and Jessie, giving it a multifaceted storyline that adds much more to the entire story. And if you are a dog lover Beau will leave footprints on your heart. You don’t have to be a kid to fall in love with this book. It’s a heartwarming story about adventure, friendship, and a journey to discovery. You can’t help but be drawn to Mark and even cheer him on. Dan Gemeinhart has taken a sick young boy and showed us anyone can have the spirit of a hero. Its not a story about death, instead its a story about life and that’s The Honest Truth.
Recommended for ages 8 and up.