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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 120
Themes: Foster families, cowboys, imagination
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/04/2010
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After eight-year-old Kevin Mason's mother abandons him, he takes refuge in his fantasy of becoming Knuckles McGraw, a tough cowboy roaming the plains on his legendary horse, Burlington Northern. But instead of riding the range, Kevin is stuck in a foster home with a pierced and tattooed teenager named Ice and a mute girl named Breezy.

While he waits to be claimed by the father he barely remembers or the mother who left him a good-bye note in his lunchbox, Kevin (aka Knuckles McGraw) tries to communicate with Breezy, learns to get along with his bunkhouse-mate Ice, and discovers that memories can be as deceptive as family secrets.

Library Media Connection - October 1, 2010
"The author understands how kids think, a fact that will allow the kids in your library to thoroughly enjoy this book...Recommended."
Canadian Children's Book News - July 1, 2010
"A humorous yet sensitive story…[Peterson] fills the story with a host of characters who are unusual yet kind and as we hear their stories we develop empathy for each of them."
Resource Links - June 1, 2010
"Peterson...has written another great story for young readers. While the story is simply crafted, her language is a delight and readers will be kept engaged...The book exceeds tremendously in inspiring hope."
Booklist - June 1, 2010
"Readers will certainly be drawn to the plucky, appealing grade-schooler and the terrible plight he so bravely faces."
CM Magazine - April 30, 2010
"Peterson's fiction is a welcomed addition to an elementary school library…She incorporates interesting characters, well-developed plots, and sensitive handling of realistic issues written at an appropriate age level. I tip my cowboy hat to Peterson and the 'Orca Young Readers' series and hope I will be reading more of her work in the future. Highly Recommended."

Awards

Silver Birch Express Award nominee  | 2011 | Short-listed
OLA Best Bets  | 2010 | Commended
CCBC Best Books  | 2011 | Commended
Chocolate Lily nominee  | 2012 | Short-listed
Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year  | 2011 | Commended

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