Review Blog

Jun 01 2009

A small white scar by K A Nuzum

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Harper Trophy, 2009. ISBN 978006075641 3
(Ages 13-15) A Small White Scar is the story of self discovery for Will, who wants desperately to be a rodeo star. He feels restricted and tied down at the family ranch. His twin brother, Denny, has Downs Syndrome and it has been Will's role to be mother, teacher and role model to Denny since their mother's death some years before.
Will believes that he is a man and wants to leave the ranch, earn prize money at the local rodeo and then make a living as a cowboy on cattle ranches. His plans are countered by Denny who follows him everywhere. When he makes his move to ride at the local rodeo, followed by Denny, Will is forced to make choices between his expectations and his guilt at leaving not just Denny but his father and the ranch, behind.
This is an engaging story, set in the 1940's in Colorado cattle country. It gives insight into relationships on a number of levels: those between animals and people, particularly horses and their riders, between the brothers and between father and son. The resolution is perhaps not the expected one, nor even the final one, but it is one which fits the characters. A satisfying read for 13-15 year olds.
Mark Knight

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