Article Title

The Honest Truth


Nancy Haight


Outstanding, Intermediate, Young Adult, Dan Gemeinhart, Adventure, Death, Friendship, Dogs, Cancer

Document Type

Book Review


Mark runs away from home with his dog, Beau, to climb Mount Rainier. Only twelve, he has carefully planned his route to confuse those he knows will be searching for him. The cancer Mark has been fighting since he was five has returned before recovering from his last round of treatments and he sees his death coming. Mark wants to climb Mount Rainier and die there. His journey encompasses a train ride, the scary streets of a strange city at night, a gang of teenage thugs, a bus trip, lots of walking, rain, and a dip in an icy river all while experiencing the exhaustion of a body weak from cancer treatment. Finally arriving at the mountain, he begins climbing with Beau in the midst of a huge snowstorm. Freezing conditions, a glacier crevasse, unrelenting exhaustion, and new insights end his quest. But Beau manages to save his life as the search-and-rescue team is finally able to find Mark.