Holding the Reins

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Whether it's summer in Colorado or Utah, fall in Montana, winter in Wyoming, or spring in New Mexico -- every season is busy when you live on a ranch. The work is tough, and it's not for just anyone. But it's the work -- and the life -- that cowgirls love best.

With respect and a keen eye, Marc Talbert vividly captures the busy days in the lives of four cowgirls: KaDee Chew, Sarah Guenzler, Katy Whitlock, and Leslie Barmann. These young women share abiding love for family ...

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Overview

Whether it's summer in Colorado or Utah, fall in Montana, winter in Wyoming, or spring in New Mexico -- every season is busy when you live on a ranch. The work is tough, and it's not for just anyone. But it's the work -- and the life -- that cowgirls love best.

With respect and a keen eye, Marc Talbert vividly captures the busy days in the lives of four cowgirls: KaDee Chew, Sarah Guenzler, Katy Whitlock, and Leslie Barmann. These young women share abiding love for family teamwork, the animals they care for, and the wide-open, western spaces they each call home. And they all balance the routines of ranch work, schoolwork, and fun with ease.

Striking black-and-white images by nationally acclaimed photographer Barbara Van Cleve portray these cowgirls hard at work and hard at play, holding the reins of life with confidence, energy, and joy.

Explores a year in the life of four teenage cowgirls as they live and work on their home ranches in Utah, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Four girls from Western states are the focus of this glimpse into life on the range and at home. Those who are dreamy eyed about the romance of being a "cowgirl" are in for a reality check. There are no luxuries here; instead there are long hours of hard work and, for one teen, a homemade dress for the prom. Surrounded by family, community, and the animals they care for, each girl pragmatically describes and participates in the activities that are vital to ranching. Readers who are curious about how sheep and cattle are castrated will have their questions answered in matter-of-fact details. Branding, sheep docking, and inoculations are all carefully explained. From barrel racing to butter making, the young people have lifestyles that many readers will never experience. Although this book clearly describes what they do, it is less successful in creating real interest in who they are, resulting in a somewhat dry presentation. The black-and-white photographs depict many of the activities described, and hints of the girls' personalities show through in some of them. They add a warmth that is sometimes less evident in the text. This look at these unique lives will educate those who have no clue about the realities of ranching.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Girls inoculate sheep and cattle, milk cows, chop ice with an ax, drive tractors, and successfully hunt bucks in this "ride through cowgirl life" that follows four girls in their everyday ranch activities. Besides mastering their ranch work, they also participate in other pastimes like sewing, building doll houses, and playing basketball. The girls, who range in age from elementary school to high school, live on ranches in Western states, most of them far from town. The photographs and text emphasize their competence and confidence as they work long hours at chores in addition to their schoolwork. Readers learn about ranch animals and their care, including more than one grim description of castration. While Talbert, better know for his novels (Small Change, not reviewed, etc.), does not romanticize the relentless work of ranching, he does paint untroubled pictures of the families, who all appear cheerful and close-knit. Readers may also have a few questions about the girl who is home-schooled yet does no schoolwork in the two weekdays described, except for a trip to a bull auction labeled "educational." As the narrative progresses through the seasons from fall to spring, lyrical descriptions of weather and terrain bring the girls' environments vividly to life. Horse and cowboy fans will enjoy the Western details, while readers looking for expanded roles for girls will welcome the stories of these four capable cowgirls. (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060292553
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 105
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1130L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.59 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.56 (d)

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