11. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri, 224 pages, read by Angie, on 07/09/2012

Cole has pushed his mom to her limits so she decides to take him to his father in Philadelphia. A father who he has never met. When she drops him off she accidentally runs into a horse that is running wild in the streets and Cole’s father has to put the horse down. Cole learns that the horse is part of the neighborhood stables that Cole’s father takes care of. Stables that the city wants to shut down. At first Cole is resistant to his father and the horses, but he forms a bond with a horse called Boo and learns to appreciate the stables as much as his father. Then when the city comes Cole, his father, and the entire neighborhood must fight to keep the stables and a beneficial part of their neighborhood alive.

Who knew there were horses in the ghetto? But there are and this story is based on true events. Neri read and article in Life magazine about the ghetto cowboys of Philadelphia and Brooklyn and how those cowboys help keep their neighborhoods productive and alive. I really enjoyed the urban setting of this story and how it showed a different side of the ghetto. These people care about their neighborhood and their neighbors. They are trying to make a difference and to keep their neighborhood safe. The characters all seem real and they all had their own unique voices. My one complaint would be the language of the book. I know that it is probably how the people in those neighborhoods would speak but it sometimes made it a little difficult to read even if it made it more authentic. Minor quibble though. Overall I thought this was a great story on a subject I knew nothing about.

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