Books by Lyman Hafen

Released: April 1, 1994

A modern cattle roundup becomes a 12-year-old's rite of passage. In helping his gruff father and two other ranchers drive their herds to summer pasture, the challenges Brian faces are both physical (a spirited mount, a lonely night lost on the range, care of the animals) and mental (learning to swallow his pride, overcome feelings of inadequacy, and accept what the men have to teach him). Drawing on his own experiences, Hafen describes the Nevada range and the work of herding, cutting out, and branding with clarity and obvious authority. His points are made explicitly, in simple, unadorned prose—``Everything needs a push now and then. Cows and people, both''; `` `Every boy ought to have a man for a friend.' ''; etc.—but he doesn't belabor them and lightens the load with the men's gentle joshing about Brian's razor cut or his taste in music. The story loses focus briefly when one rancher learns that his son has been killed in a helicopter crash; otherwise, this well-knit, undemanding first novel about a boy winning acceptance and working on his sense of self-worth has a satisfying solidity. (Fiction. 9-12) Read full book review >