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Horse thief, a novel. (Paperback Fiction).

PECK, Robert Newton. Horse thief, a novel. HarperCollins, Trophy. 277p. c2002. 0-06-441075-7. $5.99.

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To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2002:

"We was only a bunch of boys. Yet with a biting ache to be men, as battered and bowlegged and brawly as the regular rodeo pokes..." This is the beginning of this entertaining novel set in southern Florida in 1938, featuring a plucky orphaned teenager named Tullis, who works as one of the stable boys in a rundown rodeo. When Tullis gets a chance at last to test himself on a rodeo bull, he ends up crippled, losing some fingers. He is lucky enough to be ministered to by a capable woman doctor who takes him under her wing--and who agrees to help him steal the rodeo's horses when the rodeo goes out of business and they are slated to become pet food. With the help of her father, a jolly, drunken reprobate, the three undertake this foolhardy scheme, pursued by a corrupt judge. High jinks, humor, and adventure ensue, the horses are saved, and Tullis ends up with a pretty girlfriend and happy prospects.

A fun, folksy read for fans of Peck's well-known A Day No Pigs Would Die, Soup series, and other historical fiction for YAs. Peck's affection for horses as well as his understanding of boys' longing to prove themselves make this an emotionally convincing tale despite its sometimes slapstick action, leavened with some darker moments. Paula Rohrlick, KLIATT
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Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Rohrlick, Paula
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2003
Words:249
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