cover image Rodeo Princess

Rodeo Princess

M.G. Higgins. Saddleback, $9.95 paper (108p) ISBN 978-1-68021-061-3

Cattle-ranching life provides the backdrop for Higgins’s addition to the Gravel Road Rural line, written at a second-grade level. Jade is plenty busy juggling high school, chores, horse training, and tending to her father and brothers while her mother is stationed overseas in the military. But she’s also in love with her former best friend Amy, who ended their friendship after a shared kiss three years ago. Keeping her secret from everyone—including the boyfriend who cherishes her—weighs heavy on Jade, and things reach a breaking point when she is scheduled to compete against Amy in the barrel-racing event at the annual rodeo. Heavy use of sentence fragments (“I wash dishes. Take care of the horses. Check Freddie’s leg”) makes for choppy reading, but a hopeful if somewhat rushed ending suggests that better days lie ahead for Jade. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)