The Arizona Kidby Ron Koertge
I was in the West. The Old West. The Wild West! A whole summer in a new place: a place away from my parents, a place so hot the girls/b>
A trip out West to work at a racetrack — and a sojourn with a sophisticated gay uncle — bring unexpected discoveries in this quick-witted coming-of-age novel by the author of STONER & SPAZ and MARGAUX WITH AN X.
I was in the West. The Old West. The Wild West! A whole summer in a new place: a place away from my parents, a place so hot the girls probably wore bikinis to church, a place where I'd take a giant step toward my dream: becoming a vet. A place where — who knows? — anything might happen.
From the moment sixteen-year-old Billy steps off the train in Tucson, he knows this will be a summer unlike any he's seen in small-town Bradleyville, Missouri. For starters, he's staying with his cool gay uncle, who has managed to get him a job at the racetrack caring for horses. Still, Billy doesn't expect the horseracing world to be quite as rough and tumble as this — toiling side by side with a macho survivalist and falling hard for the feisty, romance-shy "exercise girl" Cara Mae. With his trademark fast-paced dialogue filled with wit and compassion, Ron Koertge tells the tale of an insecure teen who discovers that gaining stature involves more than Stetsons and boots — and that lessons on love and manhood come from the places you least expect.
- Candlewick Press
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.76(w) x 7.02(h) x 0.75(d)
- Age Range:
- 14 Years
Read an Excerpt
It was Abby, in a white silk shirt with the top button undone. Both she and Lew had changed earrings. Hers had long feathers and his a little skeleton.
"Hi, Billy," she said as she put her arms around Lew. "Guess who's here." She nodded over his shoulder toward Cara Mae. "Why don't you mosey on over there."
"Yeah," said Lew. "And make sure you mosey. No strolling."
"What'll I say to her?"
"Anything," Lew advised. "Tell her you love those white pants."
"Don't say that," Abby broke in. "Just compliment her on her hat or something."
Some Stetson, great headgear, spiffy chapeau. I tried them all as I moseyed. Then I paused a few yards away. She was inspecting each and every horse. Intensely.
I inched closer. Where'd you buy that hat? I'd like a hat like that. Can I try on your hat?
"What the hell do you want?" she snapped.
The last thing I'd thought popped right out. "To try on your hat."
"Get bent," she said.
I reported to Abby and Lew.
What'd you say?" Abby asked.
"That I wanted to try on her hat."
"It just slipped out, okay?"
"So what'd she say?" asked Lew.
"She told me to get bent."
"Definitely promising," Lew said. "Definitely interested."
"Go back and try again," said Abby, shoving me.
THE ARIZONA KID by Ron Koertge. Copyright (c) 2005 by Ron Koertge. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Meet the Author
Ron Koertge is the author of many prizewinning novels for teens, including STONER & SPAZ, winner of the PEN Literary Award. He says, "THE ARIZONA KID is one of my favorite novels. It combines Tucson and horseracing, and also serves as a memorial to a friend who passed away." Ron Koertge teaches in the MFA in Writing for Children Program at Vermont College.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
The first thing I notices was the cover, and what an awesome cover it is! This book is about Billy Kennedy moving in with is Gay uncle, Wes, in Arizona for the summer. It is very good. Ron Koertge is probably one of my favorite authors.
'The Arizona Kid' is a book that is probaly appropriate more for older kids, and not really more for boys or girls. It is about a 16 year old boy that goes down to Tucson, to live for the summer, with his gay uncle, while he is there, he learns lifes lessons, and what it is like to grow up, and mature. Although it was good, it was written in 1988, and has some flase information on certain things.
Arizona kid was a good book. What I liked about this book was when he went to Arizona he didn't really make any friends. But when he went to his uncles farm he met a horse and they became best friends. Every where he went the horse went. The thing I didn't like about it was the horse died in the end and after that the kid grew up and had friends.