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ANOTHER KIND OF COWBOY by Susan Juby Kirkus Star

ANOTHER KIND OF COWBOY

By Susan Juby

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-076517-0
Publisher: HarperTeen

Alex’s passion for riding, grooming and showing horses keeps his compartmentalized life orderly and his homosexuality at bay. When he starts riding dressage, an elegant equestrian sport, with a brazen boarding-school blonde named Chloe, he gets thrown from the saddle. Readers of Juby’s Alice McLeod series will find similar pitch-perfect comedic voices as well as sensitive, subtle treatment of teen struggles with identity and friendship. Spoiled, ditzy Chloe provides hilarious first-person narration, unwittingly throwing lopsided punch lines that draw consistent laughs. Her dizziness keeps the novel buoyant and leavens Alex’s world of palpable tension. Juby delivers his earnest struggle to maintain a double life through a third-person narrator, cleverly conveying the distance between Alex’s inner feelings and his outward expressions. Dressage, along with his odd-couple friendship with Chloe, gives Alex the strength to simply relax and be himself. Teens will happily embrace this refreshingly holistic gay teen character, built on cute quirks, humor and pathos rather than farce and flamboyance. (Fiction. YA)