HOLDING THE REINS by Marc Talbert

HOLDING THE REINS

A Ride Through Cowgirl Life
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Girls inoculate sheep and cattle, milk cows, chop ice with an ax, drive tractors, and successfully hunt bucks in this “ride through cowgirl life” that follows four girls in their everyday ranch activities. Besides mastering their ranch work, they also participate in other pastimes like sewing, building doll houses, and playing basketball. The girls, who range in age from elementary school to high school, live on ranches in Western states, most of them far from town. The photographs and text emphasize their competence and confidence as they work long hours at chores in addition to their schoolwork. Readers learn about ranch animals and their care, including more than one grim description of castration. While Talbert, better know for his novels (Small Change, not reviewed, etc.), does not romanticize the relentless work of ranching, he does paint untroubled pictures of the families, who all appear cheerful and close-knit. Readers may also have a few questions about the girl who is home-schooled yet does no schoolwork in the two weekdays described, except for a trip to a bull auction labeled “educational.” As the narrative progresses through the seasons from fall to spring, lyrical descriptions of weather and terrain bring the girls’ environments vividly to life. Horse and cowboy fans will enjoy the Western details, while readers looking for expanded roles for girls will welcome the stories of these four capable cowgirls. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-029255-5
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2003




MORE BY MARC TALBERT

ChildrenHEART OF A JAGUAR by Marc Talbert
by Marc Talbert
ChildrenTHE PURPLE HEART by Marc Talbert
by Marc Talbert
ChildrenPILLOW OF CLOUDS by Marc Talbert
by Marc Talbert

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTEMPLE GRANDIN by Sy Montgomery
by Sy Montgomery