Books by K.A. Nuzum

Released: Oct. 1, 2008

A motherless girl, a stray dog and a heart-tugging plot—sound familiar? Not so fast—Nuzum's talent shines through to create an original take on a potentially predictable story line. Eleven-year-old Dessa Dean's mother has died in horrible circumstances: She froze to death in a snowstorm with her daughter by her side. Tormented by nightmares and suffering severe agoraphobia, Dessa lives with her taciturn father in a rustic mountain cabin. Afraid she's going "daft," Dessa tries desperately to resume her everyday life but can't force herself off the cabin's front porch. The arrival of the dog changes everything—but not immediately and not without considerable hardship. Nuzum's plot flows smoothly through Dessa's compelling and direct colloquial narrative. Characters are complex, and details of animal behavior ring true. Although the physical setting is clearly drawn, the geographic location and time are unspecified, leaving readers to wonder just a little at Dessa's primitive existence. But they'll root for her nonetheless and be pleased when she finds the strength to overcome her fears. Gritty and engaging. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2006

Fifteen-year-old Will believes his abilities are wasted on his father's Colorado ranch, because his main responsibility is caring for his twin brother Denny, who is a source of grief, heartache and anger. In dreams, Will sees Denny as he could have been and himself as the imperfect one. Will believes his cowboy skills are his way out and plans to join the rodeo circuit and work on ranches between competitions. But when he leaves, Denny follows him. As they meet with adventure and danger, Will is torn between his love for Denny and his need to carve out his own future. A confrontation with his father finally leads to some real communication and some solutions. Place and time are important here, and Nuzum uses them wisely, as she weaves the atmosphere of cowboy life in 1940 with Will's coming of age. In Will she has created a multilayered character who searches for truth and right, and is not afraid to admit his flaws. (Fiction. 10-16)Read full book review >