Nobody would believe Dennis Leeper was a hero. He was the kind of kid you hid from when he pedaled his rickety bike down the road. But Jamie couldn’t say no when his father asked him to include Dennis in the raft project. And someone needed to hold the line when Jamie and his cousin Jerry finally got the raft in the river. But they should have known that Dennis couldn’t be trusted to hold onto it.
Without paddles and out of people’s sight, the three boys are swept downstream—toward the dams, the steep falls, and three separate destinies. One swims to shore. One is rescued. And one never returns alive.
Overcome by guilt and the fear that Dennis’s father will take revenge for his son’s death, Jamie tells everyone how he survived: Dennis was a hero. The question is: Will anyone believe it?
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Hero|
|Release Date: 03-25-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Hero|
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At the time, I had no way of knowing all that my plan would set in motion.
The problem was, I was behind in my weeding. And tired of it, too. So, leaning on my hoe, cursing the heat, looking at the river, and wishing the raft was finished so I could float away from this boring garden, I'd come up with a plan. A dandy.
I'd worked pretty hard most of the summer, wearing last spring's new hoe handle smooth and dark like an old saddle-even darker than my summer-brown skin. But I hadn't kept up very well lately, and now the weeds were winning. I didn't like that.
The instant the idea hit me, I cried, "Ha-e-e-e-ah!" in a fierce but muted shout, my neck cords taut like I'd once seen a movie Judo warrior do as he struck an enemy across the neck and pitched him headlong into the sea. I vaulted into the air and brought my hoe down in a savage chop, sending the nearest button weed to simultaneous death and burial in an explosion of dust. The hoe dropped to the ground like a broken spear as I headed to the granary for the matches.
The squeaky hinges on the yard gate startled Keno awake from his shady afternoon nap, and he gave me one of his barks with a question mark on it.
"Shhhhh," I said. "Be quiet, black buzzard." I didn't want Mom or my little sister, Marie, to know what I was up to just yet. Keno put his head back down, not because of my command but for lack of interest. I routinely dragged the sprinkler to a new spot on the grass as I went around the house.
I got the matches and a shovel. Then, because I couldn't resist, I detoured around behind the granary for a glance at my half-finished raft on the river's edge, a pr