A Junior Literary Guild Selection, Stocky is a fast-paced, exciting, and authentic story of four years in the life of a boy, found at the age of 12, alone on the prairies of North Texas in 1879. John McDowell, setting off on a buffalo hunt, to make enough money to build a home for his wife and 3 small children, and to start a cattle ranch, finds Stocky, who has just buried his father, and befriends him. After collecting his men (all good colorful characters), they spend six months in the dangerous but thrilling hunt, during which Stocky discovers the dangers of quicksand, buffalo ""playing dead"", rivers overflowing, Comanche Indians, buffalo stampedes, horse thieves, etc. He also discovers a deep desire to paint. Then follows the building of John's home and the start of the cattle ranch, where Stocky makes new friends, and meets new dangers, among them rattlesnakes, and prairie fire; and realizes his dream to become a painter, as well as a good ranch hand. Good straightforward, well-written stuff.