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Ghetto cowboy [sound recording]

August 30, 2013 - 4:52pm -- gstokes
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G. Neri
Cole's mom has had it, and she just can't do it anymore. The opening scene of Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri takes place in the family car as she is driving Cole from their home in Detroit to North Philly where his dad lives. North Philly "ain't nothin' like Motor City though". Horses?! Black Cowboys?! All that Cole can think about is why's his momma doin' this to him and how fast can he get out of here? But then, he meets his Dad, Harper, his friends, the horses and one horse in particular, Boo. He gets to understand the neighborhood and "the cowboy way" which he takes to heart when pressed to stand up to fight for himself and what it means to be part of something special.

G. Neri just has what it takes to get the attention of any reader but young urban male readers in particular. Not just your typical teenage angst stuff going on here, rather an unusual, setting of neglected horses and black cowboys on Chester Avenue in the northern part of Philadelphia working together to maintain their tradition, their culture, their way...the cowboy way which unites them and the community to stand up for themselves and be heard.

I listened to the audio production performed by JD Jackson which was well done. The variety of character's voices worked well with the tone and mood of the book and were never distracting. The musical segues enhanced the theme. Recommend this for all teen readers but in particular plan to read it to our TEEN group at Mount Pleasant because they'll be fascinated by the combination of coming of age story told as a western in an urban "hood". Also recommend this to inner city school librarians and teachers in grades 5 and up and for teen reluctant readers.

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