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Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri
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Ghetto Cowboy

by Greg Neri

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Coltrane is a lost soul, who has just been dumped on his father whom he's never met after his mother can no longer deal with his school truancy and trouble making. His father, Harper, is one who does not know how to care for other, but does for horses. Set in ghetto Philly, Harper teaches Coltrane about what it takes to care for a horse, and in doing so finds what it takes to be a family. ( )
  smheatherly2 | Jun 14, 2013 |
The audiobook was done well. Coltraine hadn't gone to 7th grade for several weeks when the truant officer found his mom. It was the final straw, she drove him from Detroit to Philadelphia to leave him with his dad whom he doesn't know. Harp is a leader of a group that had taken abandoned buildings in North Philly on Chester Street and turned them into a stable, following part of a tradition of urban horsemen. At first, Cole doesn't want anything to do with the horses but he's smitten when he meets Boo. When the city tries to reclaim the land, the group band together to try to protect their land and way of life. Found an article from the New York Times about a story that was really similar with the city cowboys - I had never heard of this before! ( )
  ewyatt | Jun 5, 2013 |
When Cole's mom gets fed up dealing with his skipping school and getting into trouble, she takes him (and leaves him) with his Dad who he hasn't met. Cole can't believe that she would really leave him, or that his Dad is as crazy as he is -- he has a horse living in the house with him! As Cole gets to know his dad and understand the importance and purpose of the horses, he learns being "tough" doesn't mean quite what he thought it did.

I listened to this book on audio and would recommend reading it that way. It is a classic story of a boy who thinks he is tough learning to be truly tough, but set in today's hard streets of Detroit and Philadelphia. ( )
  agrudzien | May 18, 2013 |
I have never made any secret of the fact that I love cowboys. I mainly put this down to having grown up with a grandmother who loved anything to do with Westerns, particularly John Wayne. She used to go to the library each week to get books for herself and my grandad, she always brought back westerns whether that was what he wanted to read or not! When I read about this book I was really interested by it, I’d never heard of these urban cowboys and I thought this would be an excellent introduction to them.

The book starts with Cole’s mother finally realising that she can’t cope with his bad behaviour any longer and taking him to Philadelphia to live with the father he’s never known. Cole doesn’t know how to react to his father, and Harper, his father, doesn’t seem too interested in him. Very quickly though Cole starts to learn about his father’s world, he’s an urban cowboy and responsible for keeping kids in the area out of trouble, slowly but surely they start to understand each other and build a relationship.

I found that very quickly I was grabbed by the plot. It is relatively simple, this book is aimed at the 10-12 market, but I’m confidant that older readers will enjoy it just as much. Throughout the book there are illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson. I liked these a lot, they really brought the story to life. I read the book on an eReader and was really pleased to see that they worked well on here too.

Cole is a great character, whilst he starts off as a fairly naughty kid very quickly I found myself taking to him and enjoying his journey within the book. Harper’s world is a fascinating one, I loved reading about the stables set up that they had, and the work that the cowboys did in the area, but most of all I loved reading about the cowboys themselves and seeing their interactions.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it a really interesting read, and one where I was really rooting for the characters. I feel like I’ve learnt a little about urban cowboys, but really it has just whet my appetite to find out more. I’m going to be looking out for more books about them in the near future. ( )
  juniperjungle | Apr 16, 2013 |
I have never made any secret of the fact that I love cowboys. I mainly put this down to having grown up with a grandmother who loved anything to do with Westerns, particularly John Wayne. She used to go to the library each week to get books for herself and my grandad, she always brought back westerns whether that was what he wanted to read or not! When I read about this book I was really interested by it, I’d never heard of these urban cowboys and I thought this would be an excellent introduction to them.

The book starts with Cole’s mother finally realising that she can’t cope with his bad behaviour any longer and taking him to Philadelphia to live with the father he’s never known. Cole doesn’t know how to react to his father, and Harper, his father, doesn’t seem too interested in him. Very quickly though Cole starts to learn about his father’s world, he’s an urban cowboy and responsible for keeping kids in the area out of trouble, slowly but surely they start to understand each other and build a relationship.

I found that very quickly I was grabbed by the plot. It is relatively simple, this book is aimed at the 10-12 market, but I’m confidant that older readers will enjoy it just as much. Throughout the book there are illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson. I liked these a lot, they really brought the story to life. I read the book on an eReader and was really pleased to see that they worked well on here too.

Cole is a great character, whilst he starts off as a fairly naughty kid very quickly I found myself taking to him and enjoying his journey within the book. Harper’s world is a fascinating one, I loved reading about the stables set up that they had, and the work that the cowboys did in the area, but most of all I loved reading about the cowboys themselves and seeing their interactions.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it a really interesting read, and one where I was really rooting for the characters. I feel like I’ve learnt a little about urban cowboys, but really it has just whet my appetite to find out more. I’m going to be looking out for more books about them in the near future. ( )
  juniperjungle | Apr 16, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763649228, Hardcover)

A street-smart tale about a displaced teen who learns to defend what's right-the Cowboy Way.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:25 -0400)

Twelve-year-old Cole's behavior causes his mother to drive him from Detroit to Philadelphia to live with a father he has never known, but who soon has Cole involved with a group of African-American "cowboys" who rescue horses and use them to steer youths away from drugs and gangs.… (more)

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