Friday, November 6, 2009

Prairie Dog Cowboy by V. Gilbert Zabel

Buddy wanted to be a Cowboy, one that rode a horse, not herd cows by foot. When the neighboring rancher, Caleb Hyman, told the boy he would be hired once he could lasso prairie dogs, Buddy worked and practiced for years to be able to catch one.

The day he finally roped one of the quick rodents, two of his older brother's friends watched from the road and ridiculed Buddy, calling him a prairie dog cowboy. Their ridicule never stopped, even after Buddy became a cowboy and broke horses.

Facing the hard life of homesteading in the late 1890s and early 1900s, Buddy didn't have an easy life, made worse by a mother who didn't love him or accept him. However, with the help of the Hymans, he developed into a strong, decent person who struggled to find his place in his world.

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Vivian Zabel always has had a vivid imagination and, when a child, used it to tell her siblings and friends stories. As soon as she could write, she began to put those stories on paper. I, for one, am glad she did. I thoroughly enjoyed this coming-of-age YA novel, as did my nine-year-old nephew.


In Prairie Dog Cowboy (ISBN-13: 9780979751370), Vivian Zabel gives us a feel for life on the ranch, a gripping story with loveable and memorable characters, and life lessons on perseverance in the face of adversity.

Prairie Dog Cowboy will make a great gift for cowpokes of all ages, but especially for tweens and young teens.

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Charlotte Phillips is the co-author of the Eva Baum Detective Series, 2009 President for The Final Twist Writers Group and contributor to multiple blogs. Learn more about Charlotte and her books at:

MarkandCharlottePhillips.com

News, Views and Reviews Blog

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12 comments :

  1. Sounds like a great book. I always wanted to be a cowgirl. That's why I now live on what my grand kids call "Grandma's Ranch" and have an ornery old horse. :-)

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  2. Thank you, Charlotte. This post surprised me, but pleases me greatly.

    Many of Buddy's experiences were taken from stories my husband told me about his life before we met.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this, Charlotte! I admire Vivian and her writing and am glad to discover your post about Prairie Dog Cowboy. I plan to get it for my grandson when he gets a little older.

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  4. Sounds a fun, real character.

    Just saw your comment, so he is a fun real character then?

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  5. Maryann,
    Sounds like a story that needs to be told - Grandma's dreams:-).
    Char

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  6. Vivian,
    Thank you for crafting such a delight. I hope Buddy's early years were not the part that came from your husbands life!
    Charlotte

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  7. Connie,
    Why wait? It's a great book to read to kids, especially on cold winter nights.
    Charlotte

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  8. Sheila,
    Buddy, and his friends, and family members, are all fully developed, three dimensional characters brought to life by Vivians fine pen. Like any community, you'll find people to love and people who need a swift kick in the pants:-). I didn't want the book to end.
    Charlotte

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  9. Charlotte, I wove Buddy from my imagination to a large extent, but my husband, who was born much latter than Buddy was, did grow up on a farm, the setting for the Roberts' homestead, and the rancher to the south did take Robert (my hubby) under his wing.

    In the sequel, as Buddy grows up and mentors his housekeeper's young grandson, more of my husband's experiences will be included.

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  10. Sounds like a great story. Where did your husband grow up? I spent 20 years on a cattle ranch in western Nebraska, now am involved in a cattle operation in Northern Arizona.

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  11. Shannon, my husband was born and reared in the Oklahoma Panhandle, where I set the book. However, in the book, it's No Man Land first, during the years before Oklahoma became a state. Mary Hyman told her children and Buddy that they lived through history when Miss Indian Territory and Mr. Oklahoma married. Buddy couldn't see how that would even effect him.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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