Young Adult Fiction
New York City life may mean crammed sidewalks, gasoline-filled puddles, and angry taxi drivers, but Jules enjoys the towering skyscrapers, her half-block walks to school, and the restaurant smells that waft into her bedroom. Then her mother announces their imminent move to a 300-acre ranch in Texas, where they will be caring for three horses, five dogs, and twenty-five longhorns--all by themselves. Jules is soon running from bats and snakes, rescuing a calf from a twenty-foot ditch, medicating ponies, and dealing with the daily chaos of country living. It may take one special horse to show Jules that a Manhattan girl can survive under the wide Texas skies.
Most of us have faced a move in our lifetime and know that it can be both thrilling and terrifying. Jules and her momma are about to face all of that and more. After living her whole life (she's now 11) in New York City, Jules is about to move to her family's ranch in the middle of nowhere Texas. To say that she's about to encounter culture shock is a bit of an understatement.
Life on the ranch is delightfully exaggerated. Why have just ordinary cattle when you can have a herd of longhorns? And why should you settle for one dog when you can have a whole pack of them? The wonderful chaos that surrounds life on the ranch is sure to make the reader laugh. Juliette's writing style is perfect for the tween reader.
I personally liked the interactions with the other characters. Jules' grandmother is a bossy flossy sort, but her grandfather is the perfect mate with his patient endurance. Meeting new friends can be nerve wracking but Jules winds up with some good ones.
Whether you're about to embark on a move or not, this would be the perfect summer read for your tween. The snappy dialogue and the zany situations are sure to keep your young reader engaged and entertained. The fact that the author is a teen herself should also inspire your kiddo that they could be a writer as well.
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