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Tenth Avenue Cowboy
     

Tenth Avenue Cowboy

by Linda Oatman High, Bill Farnsworth (Illustrator)
 

Ben has always dreamed of becoming a cowboy. But when he and his family move from the West to New York City, they have to give up their ranch and their horses.

In the city Ben feels lonely and homesick for the ranch. But then one day he discovers the Tenth Avenue Cowboys, who ride their horses through the city to warn of approaching trains. He can hardly believe

Overview

Ben has always dreamed of becoming a cowboy. But when he and his family move from the West to New York City, they have to give up their ranch and their horses.

In the city Ben feels lonely and homesick for the ranch. But then one day he discovers the Tenth Avenue Cowboys, who ride their horses through the city to warn of approaching trains. He can hardly believe that there are cowboys in the city!

Brought to life by dramatic illustrations, this historically based tale reveals how one boy’s dream helps him accept his new home.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
It is 1910, and Ben and his family have moved to New York City from their ranch in the West to find work. Ben, who has always wanted to be a cowboy, misses everything about the West and hates his life in the city. He is surprised to learn that there are cowboys and horses in New York. It is the job of the Tenth Avenue Cowboys to gallop down Tenth Avenue, where the trains run, to warn people of the approaching trains. Ben visits the cowboys and horses at their stables and is thrilled to get a chance to ride with a cowboy down the avenue. He finally can accept the city as his home. The country landscape of the title page becomes the cityscape as the page turns. Farnsworth's oil paintings are naturalistic as they depict the start of an adventure, along with the contrasting life styles. The drama takes shape as Ben and his family arrive in the city and we see Ben daydreaming of the life he left behind. Then the horses of the city catch his attention, and we are presented with a sequence of horse-filled scenes as Ben learns to join the city cowboys. Colors remain muted, reinforcing emotions as Ben's ambitions gradually are realized. The handsomely crafted paintings of horses dominate the scenes; the terse prose of the text is oddly arranged like poetry. There is a glossary, along with a note filling in factual background. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

It's 1910, and Ben and his parents have just moved from their ranch in the West to New York City, "where they'd heard the work and the pay were the best." The lonely child, who still dreams of becoming a cowboy, misses his home and feels like an outsider in his crowded Hell's Kitchen neighborhood where the kids bully and tease him. Then he hears about the Tenth Avenue Cowboys, whose job is to gallop their horses alongside train tracks embedded in the cobblestone streets to warn people of an approaching locomotive. Striking up a friendship with these men and their horses, Ben finally begins to feel as though the city is truly his home. The lively narrative and realistic single- and double-page paintings provide a glimpse into life in early-20th-century New York City and highlight an interesting part of its past. This book could be used to expand studies of American history, cowboys, and cross-country migration. Ben's story will also speak to youngsters who have experienced change or felt like outsiders.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews
Set in 1910, this urban reverie will resonate with contemporary readers. When Ben moves with his family from a ranch in the West to New York City, he finds himself desperately lonely. He mourns the loss of his beloved plains and his dreams of becoming a cowboy. Until, that is, he hears about the Tenth Avenue Cowboys, city cowboys who ride through the streets warning citizens of approaching trains. Allowed to ride with one of the cowboys, Ben is back in his element. He still misses the plains, but he rediscovers enough of what he loves to enable him to reclaim his dreams and make peace with his new home. Farnsworth's muted oil paintings bestow a dreamy, nostalgic quality on carefully rendered scenes of early-20th-century New York. All told, this offering has the feel of a tale that has been passed down from generation to generation, based in truth but lovingly polished until the rougher parts are smoothed over and the magic in it shines. (author's note, glossary) (Picture book. 6-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802853301
Publisher:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
07/28/2008
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
NC900L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

L Linda Oatman High has written several books for children, including Cool Bopper's Choppers (Boyds Mills) and A Humble Life: Plain Poems (Eerdmans), which was awarded the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Honor. Linda lives in Pennsylvania.

Bill Farnsworth has illustrated more than forty books, including Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer by Bill Wise (Lee & Low) and The Flag with Fifty-Six Stars by Susan Goldman Rubin (Holiday House). Bill lives in Florida.

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