Bull Rider by Suzanne Morgan Williams

In the small town of Salt Lick, Nevada Cam O'Mara knows how to do two things real well. One is how to work cows on his family's ranch and the other is skateboarding. Which is a bit unusual since everyone in Salt Like knows that the O'Mara family is famous for turning out champion bull riders like Cam's Grandpa Roy and his older brother, Ben. But skateboarding is Cam's passion and nothing can change that. That is until his larger-than-life older brother returns home from his tour in Iraq with severe and life-changing injuries. That quickly, everything in the O'Mara household changes - Cam included. As the family draws closer in hopes of finding ways to simply stay afloat while trying to lift Ben's spirits in the process, Cam finds himself drawn to the rodeo ring. Putting himself on the back of a bull has always been the stupidest idea Cam could ever imagine, but suddenly the rush of adrenaline and those eight seconds of no thought seem to be just what he needs. And it just so happens that those eight seconds could also mean the best means for reaching Ben's wounded mind and body in a way nothing else can.

So I'm always on the lookout for good books for boys (mainly because I want to be prepared for when my own little man starts looking for good things to read) and Bull Rider offered an extremely intriguing premise. Skateboarding, rodeos, bull riding, the war in Iraq and soldiers -- you couldn't find a book more chock-full of attention grabbing hot topics than that. Nonetheless, it's the compelling family dynamics and the emotional struggles faced by the O'Mara family that will truly win over any reader - male or female, young or old. Suzanne Morgan Williams easily captures the voice of a teenage boy who loves his family but who also desperately wants to prove himself to the world around him. But where Cam's voice really shines is when he is describing his decision to ride a bull for the very first time. His indecision and fear come across clear and honest but his courage and ultimate reasoning for that choice are truly vibrant. Plus, the small town atmosphere of Salt Lick couldn't be more quaint or inviting inevitably adding to the overall welcoming feel of this fascinating novel. Bull Rider is a book I'll be recommending without hesitation and keeping on my shelf for my own little man to enjoy down the road.

*Be sure to come back on Friday when author Suzanne Morgan Williams will be stopping in to talk about Bull Rider and some of her favorite books.

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Ashley's Bookshelf review
Semicolon review

book source: review copy for The Teen {Book} Scene tour

No comments: