THE ABERNATHY BOYS by L.J. Hunt

THE ABERNATHY BOYS

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

According to the author’s introduction, the two Abernathy brothers, ages five and nine, journeyed from Texas to New Mexico across el llano estacado in 1909. The cap rock or “staked plains” is one of the more inhospitable places in the US, but Bud, the older of the two brothers, had a burning desire to live the glory of the old and vanishing Wild West. Bud is precociously adept at riding horses and herding cattle and part of his dream is to visit the famous Colonel Goodnight ranch. If readers can suspend disbelief, then an old-fashioned adventure awaits. The two boys do prepare very carefully and their father monitors their progress. However, the first-time author tends to hyperbole and often lets her intense admiration of the journey interfere with her writing. She gives both the traveling brothers and the animals that they encounter grandiose thoughts not usually associated with boys or, for that matter, with animals. Inverting sentences, as in “hushed was the sound of the breeze . . . ” and using “grandeur,” “nobility,” “companionship,” and “philosophical” in one sentence tends to interfere with the flow of the narrative. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-440953-8
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2004