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Posted August 9, 2009
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com
THE BEEF PRINCESS OF PRACTICAL COUNTY is a sweet coming-of-age novel.
Libby loves the cow farm she's grown up on. But she's lived in her brother's shadow and her father has never noticed her when it comes to the farm. When her brother heads off to college, Libby is granted the chance to raise two calves for the next county fair. She will only be able to show one of the calves, but she has the opportunity to show her father what she can do.
When her dear Piggy becomes too injured to enter, Libby has to work with the more obstinate of the two calves. She can't imagine that he can possibly be a winner, but Libby is determined to win the Grand Champion designation, something even her brother has never accomplished.
Libby's competing against the Darling girls. The two eldest have been the fair princesses for the past few years and are entering their own cattle. The youngest one, Ohma, is the same age as Libby. And although Ohma isn't in the same princess league as her sisters, she's still a Darling.
Libby finds herself learning to love the calf that wanted to be left alone. And more surprisingly, she finds her mom has talked her into running for the princess title against the Darling sisters. As the summer winds down and the fair looms closer, Libby grows more confident in herself and her abilities.
For a first-time novelist, Ms. Houts has written a tender story of growing up and becoming who you are meant to be. Growing up in a small town that holds annual fairs similar to that depicted in THE BEEF PRINCESS OF PRACTICAL COUNTY, I felt a special connection to the story. Ms. Houts captures the spirit and the competition of a county fair to a T.
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Posted February 8, 2013