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Summary: Todd and his sister, Mandy, are excited about their invitation to participate in the spring roundup on Uncle Reid’s cattle ranch in Wyoming. Still, there are some daunting challenges: learning to ride a horse, work a herd, endure the discomforts of life on the range, deal with rattle snakes and … cattle rustlers. That’s a tall order by anyone’s standards, would these two city kids be able to take care of themselves? This is a Western adventure story for Tweeners and reluctant readers.
Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book, middle grade reader, remedial reader, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 12; read yourself: 8 to 12
Adult Reader Reaction: Parents and teachers of adolescents should have this laying around the room. At home, it is a book that you can hand to a 10-year-old who has just said, "I’m bored!" At school, it can be read to a group as a reward. This author writes for pre-teens and tweeners knows how to capture and keep their attention.
Pros: This is an adventure story that young teens will enjoy. Along with the twists and turns of the plot, the characters are presented with some ethical and moral issues that will cause the reader to consider what she/he would do in similar circumstances.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a good book when you are looking for a wholesome and believable adventure story to which adolescents can relate. It is the type of story that will be read more than once by the owner and probably shared with friends.
Educational Themes: This book can be used to stimulate story ideas for creative writing. It also provides material for group discussion.
Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, adventure, crime stories, Western
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2007
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