Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri illus. by Jesse Joshua Watson
12 yr old Cole lives with is mother in Detroit. When Cole's mom finds out he's been ditching school for weeks, she's had enough. She drives the two of them straight to Philly, and leaves Cole with a father he's never meant.
Cole's father Harper runs a stable in the city. Cole doesn't know what to think of his father or the horses. He's quickly put to work and learns a few things from the Black cowboys he never knew existed. The stable has a long history with the community. Between those blocks there's no gang violence. Now the city is demanding the land back. After learning from his father and the other men, Cole steps up to help out the Cowboy Way.
Cole's voice was very strong. He took hold of the story from the very beginning. And he has one of the best lines of the year.
"I look in the closet and see he pulled some stuff out of it and put a blanket on the floor. Uh no, I ain't no Harry Potter. And I ain't living in no closet."
One of the things I love about Neri, he knows how to tell a good story. Ghetto Cowboy moves at a great pace and everything fits together very well. I loved Watson's illustrations, they added a nice dimension to the story.
Listen to a sample of the audio book via Candlewick press