Plot: Cole has screwed up one time too many and his Mama doesn’t know what to do any more. But he is shocked when she drives him to Philadelphia and leaves him with a father he has never met before: a father who wears a cowboy hat and rides a horse through the streets of Philly. If Cole knows one thing it’s that cowboys are not black and they cannot be found in the city. At first he wants nothing more than to ditch these ghetto cowboys but when the city threatens to tear down the stables, he realizes that he will have to fight to protect the Cowboy Way and his new friend Boo.
This review is based on an Advanced Reader’s Copy received at Book Expo America.
Neri’s story is based on the real life inner-city horsemen of Philadelphia. I had never heard about this before but now I am curious to learn more. It’s a fascinating and unique tale with a diverse cast of characters and a real sense of community. The writing is very conversational and flows well. This is a great book for a reluctant reader or a horselover like myself. It’s also a perfect book for reading aloud. Neri manages to addres very serious issues, keeping kids off the street and fighting for what is right, while remaining entertaining. This book was a pleasure to read.
As an added bonus the black and white illustrations are lovely.
Ghetto Cowboy will be released in August 2011 by Candlewick Press.
Challenges: Quirky Brown Reading Challenge (2)