Herbert Carr’s father died. His mother’s job was taken away by an ambitious storekeeper. With no means to live on, 16 year-old Herbert takes it upon himself to provide for the two of them. By his ambition he finds several jobs and works cheerfully–even under mean employers, until he finds a proposition that suits him perfectly. He hires on as an assitant and companion to a sick man who came west for his health. His new work brings prosperity to him and his mother, and also sends along all sorts of excitement: being tried for crimes he didn’t commit, attacked by robbers, waylaid by stage-coach bandits, fighting Indians, and like adventures as he “strives to succeed.”
Originally published in 1884 by Porter & Coates, it was one of Horatio Alger Jr.’s famous books for boys: tales of ambitious poor boys who persevere with grit and finally succeed financially by hard work and diligence. Many folks accurately call his stories classic “rags to riches” tales…
Compared to many similar and contemporary works:
It’s far easier to read than G. A. Henty novels, the story pacing is much quicker, and it is geared towards younger boys. It’s not as engrossing as R. M. Ballantyne’s tales, nor is the writing and development of the characters nearly as good. The writing style reminds me a lot of the Bobsey Twins Series by “Laura Lee Hope.” The similarity is not really surprising considering the connection Edward Stratmeyer had with both series.
Do And Dare is a simple story, packed full of morals and character, some adventures, and old style vocabulary. It is a classic boy’s tale, nothing exceptional and not on my favorites list, but fun nonetheless.