Ann Curtin. Zumaya, $13.99 paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-61271-246-8
Thirteen-year-old Jesse Alvarez loves the Wyoming ranch he has moved to with his father, even though the owner’s son, Cade Savage, picks on him constantly. Jesse befriends a Shoshone boy, Aaron Little Elk, another one of Cade’s targets, who helps him train a difficult horse for the upcoming junior rodeo. While Jesse finds Aaron a tad annoying, he’s intrigued by Aaron’s stories of his older brother, Reuben, “one of the best [horse] trainers in all of Wyoming,” and looks forward to meeting him. Jesse is also curious about the Shoshone man around the ranch who seems to be able to disappear into thin air. However, when an incident at the ranch exposes the truth about Aaron’s home life, Jesse and Cade begrudgingly team up to help him. Believable characters and realistic situations, such as Jesse’s relationship with his absentee mother, populate Curtin’s first novel. The supernatural elements enhance the emotional second half of a hopeful tale that should leave readers looking forward to Curtain’s next book. Ages 8–12. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Children's
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