Selling Points: "death, bull riding, family"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Jan/01/2003
Lexile Level: HL520L
Fry Reading Level: 3.0
Fiction Ages 12+
"No, Layne," Mom said in a tight voice. Her eyes met mine again. "Not the bull riding. You know how I feel about that."
I knew all right. We'd been through this scene so many times it was like living in an instant replay. But this time I fought back. "Yeah, and you know how I feel about it too."
"I don't care how you feel," Mom shot back. "All I know is that I watched a bull kill my husband and there's no way I'll risk watching one kill my son."
Layne wants nothing more than to follow in his father's footsteps and to be a bull rider. His dad was one ride away from a National Championship when he got trampled to death. Layne wants to be able to give his dad that championship—by winning it for him. What he doesn't want, though, is to end up like his father and die in the rodeo arena. When the chance comes, Layne realizes he must face up to his greatest fear. With the help of his friend Jana, and his bratty younger sister, Layne learns to reach deep inside and trust himself.
VOYA - December 1, 2003
“Has potential for many different levels of readers...The strength of the book lies in the conflict that Halvorson describes, one familiar to members of the rodeo culture who know that the very thing they love can harm or kill the people they love even more.”
Resource Links - September 1, 2003
"Halvorson is talented at seamlessly weaving in the settings and character descriptions with the rising action of the story."
CM Magazine - March 28, 2003
YALSA Quick Picks, short-listed
CCBC Our Choice, commended
PSLA Top Forty, short-listed
Tayshas List, commended
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