Monday, January 21, 2013
G. Neri’s Ghetto Cowboy (illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson), on the Texas Bluebonnet Reading List 2013-14, did just that. Cole’s mom has had it with Cole’s troublemaking ways and she is taking him from their home in Detroit to a Dad he doesn’t know in Philadelphia. No amount of sweet talking is going to change her mind this time. Cole discovers a whole new world in this urban area where run-down housing has been made into make-shift horse stalls. His father, Harper, is a leader in this tight-knit community of urban cowboys who use the horses to set street kids straight – if they can keep them busy with riding and caring for the horses, maybe they will stay off of drugs and out of gangs. At first Cole is determined to find his way back to his mom, but quickly changes his mind when he becomes attached to a wild horse named Boo. This story is inspired by real inner city areas that have stables of horses in the most unlikely city dwellings to help keep young boys out of trouble. This story is about bringing about change by doing positive things and I love that message.