BY ADA BROWNELL
Perhaps you would like to meet Joe Baker, age 14, from the book JOE THE DREAMER: THE CASTLE AND THE CATAPULT.
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us your problems.
My name is Joe Baker. I’m age 14, going on 15, tall for my age, but if things continue as they have the last few weeks I’ll pass for an old man any day now.
I’m the son of Darin and Rose Baker, and they disappeared. My little sis, Penny, and I waited and waited hours that night. They didn’t come home. Pop worked as a computer software designer. Mom was a buyer and fashion consultant at Vanby’s, a prestigious teen clothing store. They left work to visit a friend at the hospital and no one has seen them since.
2. What can you do? You’re still a kid.
My life is full of challenges. I want to believe God will bring my parents home. In the meantime, I should learn how to live with Uncle Faulkner and Aunt Anna. But Faulkner, a powerful newspaper editor, is so full of himself I don’t know who will explode first—him or me. Aunt Anna is tied to that little glass of alcohol and one little match could set her ablaze.
3. So you have a place to live, and you think God might help bring your parents home?
I thought my biggest fear was that my parents would be found dead. But now Pop has been accused of stealing priceless computer software believed to help control epilepsy. I think he designed it at home in his spare time. But I’ve had other problems. Then every time I read the Bible I dream I’m some great biblical hero and wake up shouting and screaming out, making Faulkner and his psychiatrist friend think I’m insane. They think I need medication and maybe hospitalized.
4. How about friends? A girl friend? Other friends?
I always wanted to be like Pop and someday marry someone with beauty and character like my mom, but they aren’t here now. So, I let Gertrude, a wonderful old crippled lady, love on me and pray for me. I also re-connected with my old neighborhood buddies and joined a gang. Not just any gang, dude. The East Side Gallant Guardians. Christian teens who solve and prevent crime without guns or blades, using things like a pet skunk, sand, rope, noise, marbles. Centipede—he’s the leader--and his group of homies aren’t afraid of anybody or anything because they believe God is with them. Patrick—that’s Faulkner’s son—says we’re going to get ourselves killed, but so far amazing things are happening and we have found evidence that prisoners are being held at Sir Henry’s Castle in the mountains. I think that might be where Mom and Pop are, and we are taking a catapult and invading the castle.
5. So you’re planning a rescue attempt?
Sure! Would you believe we’re even allowing Pete’s twin sister to go with us? I’ve known Petra for a long time and hadn’t noticed how pretty and talented she is until just a few weeks ago. I’m not spreading it around that I like her, you see, so don’t you go texting everyone you know. I hope when everything comes down she’ll hang tough with her karate moves and cut the timber out from under some of those guards. Almost would make me grab her and plant a kiss on her gorgeous face!
If you want to know how all of this turns out, check out this link and the review where a teen said the book is “A tale of intrigue and faith; captures the reader from the opening page” JOE THE DREAMER: THE CASTLE AND THE CATAPULT http://www.buff.ly/XeqTvH