Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blog Tour & Review: Bull Rider by Suzanne Morgan Williams


Cam O'Mara, grandson and younger brother of bull-riding champions, is not interested in partaking in the family sport. Cam is a skateboarder, and perfecting his tricks -- frontside flips, 360s -- means everything until his older brother, Ben, comes home from Iraq, paralyzed from a brain injury.

What would make a skateboarder take a different kind of ride? And what would get him on a monstrosity of a bull named Ugly? If Cam can stay on for the requisite eight seconds, will the $15,000 prize bring hope and a future for his big brother?

  • Pub. Date: May 2010
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

The Elliott Review:

This book is not something I would typically read because, I'll confess, I am not a lover of anything rodeo, but I was interested in reading it because it looked like something fresh and different from the usual book for middle grade students.

I really enjoyed reading it because of Cam's perspective. His emotions were portrayed perfectly for a boy of his age, realistically mixing his worry for his brother with his worry for himself. He has to overcome living in the shadow of his semi-famous family members, and to do so he has always avoided riding bulls. Now, though, in his mind, he feels he must "fix" the tragedy of his brother's injury and the strain it puts on their family by winning a riding competition. His single-minded determination causes other problems - he now has to deal with his friends that do not understand why he is no longer focusing on skateboarding.

This book did give me a deeper appreciation for the kind of talent and athleticism that bull riders and others who participate rodeos must have to do what they do. I also became more aware of the situations that many war veterans find themselves in. They are often not appreciated fully or are misunderstood completely. This was really brought home to me by seeing how Ben's injuries affected him emotionally.

Source: Thanks to the The Teen {Book} Scene for hosting this tour. Other tour stops for Bull Rider can be found here.

Don't forget to check out my interview with Cam and a chance to win a copy of Bull Rider.

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