Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Small White Scar by K.A. Nuzum

I have never read a book about rodeos before. It didn't sound great to me, but I thought maybe it would be one that guys would be interested in. I was expecting some kind of cowboy story with lots of action. Surprisingly, this is much more of an introspective book about a 15-year-old boy trying to become a man and move away from his father's ranch. Will's mother died years ago, and rather than working alongside his father on the ranch, he has spent the last eight years taking care of Denny, his mentally challenged twin brother. Will has mixed feelings toward his twin. He loves him, but fiercely resents how his own life has been sacrificed for Denny's well-being. Against his father's command, Will rides away to compete in a rodeo, and then he plans to find work on another ranch and start his adult life. When Denny follows and is bitten by a snake, Will's plans are forced to change. There is wilderness survival and a rodeo at the end, but overall, this is an inward-looking book. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that there won't be much audience for it because even I, an introspective female, thought it was pretty slow. I would be very curious to hear if middle school boys relate to this book or if they just put it down because they want more action.

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