Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book Review: Hearts of Courage by John Tippetts

I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do it's usually shows on the Discovery Channel like Man vs. Wild and Survivorman. So when I was approached to review of a copy of Hearts of Courage I thought I'd probably enjoy it.

While Hearts of Courage doesn't have a British ex-special forces guy sky diving and making flotation devices out of his pants, it does have a plane and lots of survival.

About the Book
On January 5, 1943, an airplane with six on board went missing in remote Southeast Alaska. The winter weather was extreme and searchers found no signs of the aircraft, so all were presumed lost. One of those passengers was Joseph Tippets, age 29, of Anchorage, Alaska, an employee of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, and the first branch president of the small Latter-day Saint Anchorage congregation. For the long twenty-nine days until his unbelievable rescue, Joseph’s wife, Alta, left alone with her two-year-old son in Anchorage, did not give up hope and became a source of strength and encouragement to others.

Hearts of Courage is the story of Joseph Tippets’ experiences over those twenty-nine days and his subsequent efforts to help rescue the two injured passengers still stranded in their wilderness camp. The story is told largely in Joseph’s own words, with many pictures to flesh out the tale. I enjoyed Joseph's story, but sometimes the narrative jumped from Joseph's words to historical information, then back to Joseph's story again, which detracted from the power of the whole story. And as someone not familiar with Alaska, once in a while I felt a little lost with all the names of different locations. The author provides maps to help readers, however, as long as readers aren't too lazy (like me) to go back and look at them to get grounded in the setting.

It is obvious that compiling this information and telling his mother and father's story was a labor of love for author John Tippetts, and I commend him on the work he put into it. Overall, I recommend Hearts of Courage as an inspiring survival story, full of courage, determination, faith, and answered prayers.

You can find out more about John Tippetts (along with contact information for speaking engagements) and Hearts of Courage at

*Mandatory notification: I did receive a copy of the book from the author for review.


Cheryl said...

Thanks for reviewing John's book. I found so much to enjoy in it when I read it, so I was happy when he decided to take it on tour.

All my best,


Elana Johnson said...

This sounds like a great read! Thanks Jaime.

L.T. Elliot said...

I love discovery channel too. Just sayin'.

That does sound amazing. 29 days? How on earth did he survive that? I guess I'll have to read it.