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Ghetto Cowboy
Cover of Ghetto Cowboy
Ghetto Cowboy

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

When Cole's mom dumps him in the mean streets of Philadelphia to live with the dad he's never met, the last thing Cole expects to see is a horse, let alone a stable full of them. He may not know much about cowboys, but what he knows for sure is that cowboys aren't black, and they don't live in the inner city. But in his dad's 'hood, horses are a way of life, and soon Cole's days of skipping school and getting in trouble in Detroit have been replaced by shoveling muck and trying not to get stomped on. At first, all Cole can think about is how to ditch these ghetto cowboys and get home. But when the City threatens to shut down the stables— and take away the horse Cole has come to think of as his own— he knows that it's time to step up and fight back. Inspired by the little-known urban riders of Philly and Brooklyn, this compelling tale of latter -day cowboy justice champions a world where your friends always have your back, especially when the chips are down.

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

When Cole's mom dumps him in the mean streets of Philadelphia to live with the dad he's never met, the last thing Cole expects to see is a horse, let alone a stable full of them. He may not know much about cowboys, but what he knows for sure is that cowboys aren't black, and they don't live in the inner city. But in his dad's 'hood, horses are a way of life, and soon Cole's days of skipping school and getting in trouble in Detroit have been replaced by shoveling muck and trying not to get stomped on. At first, all Cole can think about is how to ditch these ghetto cowboys and get home. But when the City threatens to shut down the stables— and take away the horse Cole has come to think of as his own— he knows that it's time to step up and fight back. Inspired by the little-known urban riders of Philly and Brooklyn, this compelling tale of latter -day cowboy justice champions a world where your friends always have your back, especially when the chips are down.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.0
  • Lexile:
    660
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you

Reviews-
  • DOGO Books blessing55 - a boy in this book has to go to his dads house because he has a bad school record and his mom just leaves him alone with his dad and he doesn't really know his dad that good. besides his dad owns a horse in the city of philadlphia
  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2011

    Gr 5-8-Cole has been skipping school so much that he might have to repeat seventh grade. His fed-up mom drives him from Detroit to North Philadelphia to live with the father he's never met. Feeling abandoned, Cole at first struggles to get along with his father. But eventually his dad's vocation as a horse-whispering cowboy-he runs a stable in the inner city, which is a safe haven for local kids-gives them a chance to connect. Cole learns the history of black horsemen and how to live the "Cowboy Way," befriending a horse of his own and joining a fight to save the stable when it's threatened by the city. This well-written book is based on a true story of urban cowboys in Philadelphia and New York. Cole's spot-on emotional insight is conveyed through believable dialogue and the well-paced plot offers information about a little-known aspect of African-American history as well as a portrait of contemporary urban stable life. Watson's illustrations punctuate the intriguing aspects of the story and make the novel more appealing.-Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2011

    Twelve-year-old Cole has messed up one too many times, and now his mother has taken him from Detroit to Philadelphia to live with his father, whom Cole doesn't know.

    Turns out Philadelphia isn't much like Detroit. It's the 'hood all right, but there are horses and stables and cowboys, right in the city. His father and his community of cowboys are continuing a tradition of urban cowboys dating back to the Civil War, maintaining stables and taking on kids to teach responsibility and provide an alternative to gangs and street life. But Cole doesn't buy it: "You guys is funny. We in the city, with cars and computers and stuff, and you think you back in the Wild, Wild West!" Gradually, though, Cole finds he has a way with a horse named Boo, and in taking care of Boo he finds a new life for himself. It's a fascinating glimpse of a culture most readers will not have heard of, and the author's note leads to Neri's website, with many links to articles and videos on the subject. Watson's illustrations in pencil, ink and acrylic add a satisfying visual dimension.

    Cole doesn't ride off into the sunset here, but he does, at least, ride off to a better future. (Fiction. 10-14)

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2011
    Grades 5-8 When 12-year-old Cole acts out one time too many, his beleaguered mother drives him from Detroit to Philadelphia to live with the father he's never known. To Cole's astonishment, his father, Harper, turns out to be a kind of urban cowboy, living in the ghetto, where he and a group of friends keep and care for old racehorses they've saved from the slaughterhouse. The horses, in turn, are used to provide a safe zone for street kids and to teach them responsibility. Unfortunately, the land Harper and his cohorts use belongs to the city, which now wants to use it for commercial development. It may be up to Cole to save his father's program and the horse with which he himself has bonded. Based on the real-life, inner-city black horsemen of Philadelphia and New York City, Neri's story, though occasionally didactic and heavy-handed, is original in theme and inspirational in tone and content.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Candlewick Press
  • OverDrive Read
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Ghetto Cowboy
Ghetto Cowboy
Jesse Joshua Watson
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