Book reviews of YA lit and more

As a middle school librarian and hopeful reader of Missouri's high school award books (Gateway nominees), I am reading and reviewing as many young adult and middle grade novels as I can while working on my own writing for this age group.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bull Rider- Suzanne Morgan Williams

Cam's brother, Ben, has always been the bull rider in his family- following in the footsteps of his dad and grandfather.  Cam's thing is skateboarding.  It is what he loves to do with his best friend, Mike, despite the fact that he lives on a ranch in the Nevada desert.  Everything changes when Cam's brother decides to enlist in the Marines and is sent to Iraq.  Ben is severely injured and his coming home to recover is harder than Cam ever imagined.  Cam feels he has to do something big to inspire his brother to not give up on life, but big becomes riding the bull, Ugly.  A bull so mean no one has ever rode him for 8 seconds, but there is a lot of prize money to be given to a bull rider that is able.  There is a lot of bull riding in this book, which I realize will not be every kids' thing.  However, there is a lot of other more universal themes about war, love between siblings, the power of family, and how a boy becomes a man.  I enjoyed it, even if it wasn't my favorite book ever.

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