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BULL RIDER by Suzanne Morgan Williams

BULL RIDER

By Suzanne Morgan Williams

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Feb. 24th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-6130-7
Publisher: McElderry

In this Nevada ranching community, riding the bulls is the community sport. Grandfather, father and big brother have all excelled, but Cam prefers skateboarding. At 14, he has immersed himself in his chosen recreation, with family, school and ranch work lagging behind. When elder brother Ben, a Marine, suffers a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan and is shipped home, he becomes top priority for the whole family. Cam’s discovery that the intensity required for bull riding is appealing sets off a chain of events that leads to an attempt to ride “Ugly,” a bull that no one has ever stayed on for the requisite eight seconds. The details of recovery from debilitating injury are vividly portrayed, as well as the cost to the family of supporting their son. As Cam’s world changes, the adrenaline highs balance with introspection, revealing Cam pondering his place in the world and trying to honestly deal with the results of the war. Our current military entanglements are seldom presented for teens, and this currency lifts an otherwise pedestrian effort. Surprisingly G-rated and accessible. (Fiction. 10-14)