about the book
It may seem like I am running away from death. Maybe I’m running toward it. I’ve had cancer a long time; the kind with long hospital stays and painful treatments. It’s back and the prognosis is bad. Grandpa always wanted to climb Mount Rainer, but he died before he could. I’m not waiting any longer. This could be my last chance.
My name is Mark and I am twelve years old. This is Beau, my dog. He is my best friend. Jessica is my second best. She’s super loyal, too, and won’t tell my parents where I have gone. I hid Beau in my big duffle bag and told the lazy ticket station agent at the window that my dad and I needed two bus tickets from Wenatchee to Spokane. Then I hid behind the station building, strip off my red cap and coat, and donned different ones. I also smashed my grandpa’s pocket watch; who wants to watch time ticking down till their death?
Then I jumped on the departing train for Seattle with the ticket I purchased online yesterday. Searchers will be looking in the wrong place long enough for me to get to the mountain.
My journey across Washington State is an adventure. Some street thugs steal my money. The weather gets awful and I meet some really interesting people. But best of all, a Forest Service biologist gives me a ride up to the mountain. I know he has seen the TV blurbs about the missing sick kid, but he doesn’t even turn me in!
Then it is just me and Beau and the mountain. This could fulfill my dying wish or become my suicide mission. One way or the other, I intend to see the top of Rainier.
Dan Gemeinhart was born in Frankfurt, Germany. His dad was in the Army so his family moved very often while he was growing up. That meant that he went to a lot of different schools. It was hard leaving old pals and making new friends, but it gave Dan a lot of interesting experiences and made him a more confident, stronger person.
He finished high school in Kennewick, Washington. There Dan met Karen, a girl he had a huge crush on. Luckily she liked him, too. After he studied history and how to teach at Gonzaga University, the two married. They travelled to Cairo, Egypt, where they taught, rode camels, and climbed the pyramids…until they were chased off by scary uniformed men with machine guns!
They returned to Washington State, settling in Wenatchee. Dan got his dream job as an elementary teacher and librarian. He is a constant reader and loves that he gets to share books with his awesome students. Karen teaches high school English. Eventually they acquired a messy house and had three daughters, who are a great source of laughter. Since Dan is so busy with his family and teaching, he doesn’t have much time for writing.
It took him over two years to write The Honest Truth. Twice he had to tear up everything he had written and start over. He was inspired to write the story because he had an adult friend, Mark, who loved dogs and climbing mountains. Mark also had cancer, just like Dan’s character in the book. Though his friend lost his battle to cancer, Dan thinks he would have enjoyed the book. It is basically about steely resolve and undying friendship, things the two Marks have in common.
Dan loves camping, cooking, traveling, and playing the guitar. All in all, he’s a “pretty darn happy” guy.
Also by Dan Gemeinhart:
Some Kind of Courage. Scholastic. 2016.
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
In this 1890s western adventure, Joseph has lost his parents and his little sister, and is left with only his beloved Indian pony Sarah. When the alcoholic rancher who takes custody of Joseph sells the horse. Joseph is determined to get her back—no matter what. In a journey across Washington State facing dangerous animals, deadly men, and the fury of nature, Joseph luckily has a companion, an abandoned Chinese boy, who doesn’t speak a word of English. Will the two make it alive?
Unstoppable by Tim Green
Harrison has spent his life bouncing from one bad foster home to the next. When he is placed with the Kellys, it is almost too good to be true. He plays on Coach Kelly’s JV football team, but some of his teammates aren’t happy to have the new kid. When one purposely injures Harrison’s knee, an MRI shows Harrison has bone cancer, and part of his leg is amputated. How will Harrison ever get back on the football field?
Wilder Boys (Book 1) by Brandon Wallace
After Jake and his brother Tucker watch their mother being carted off after a severe beating by her boyfriend, Bull, they grab some of Bull’s stashed cash, and set off from their home in Pennsylvania with their dog Cody. They hope to find their father, whose supposed to be living off the grid in Wyoming. While hiking the Grand Tetons, they stumble on a grizzly naturalist who teaches them survival skills, but will the boys finally find their dad?