Would you send your nine-year-old on a New York City subway by himself?  Would you send him on a horse from Oklahoma to New Mexico and back by way of the deserts of Texas - taking his five-year-old brother along?

It can be frustrating sifting through the chaff at the children's section of the library.  But when you find a nugget of gold, it's worth the trouble.  This nugget is called The Abernathy Boys by L. J. Hunt.  It was published in 2004, but it has the literary and adventurous feel of a much older book.  Maybe that's because it's set in 1909 and the author has done a good job of keeping it set there without bringing in modern attitudes.

It is a fictional elaboration of the true story of Louis (Bud) and Temple Abernathy, sons of cowboy and wolf-catcher Jack Abernathy.  It is full of fun, suspense, and excitement.  Jonathan was so excited to know that he is exactly the age Temple was for that ride, and I could see him imagining himself there.  We both heartily recommend this book for adventure-loving readers of any age.

There were a few spots that I edited out on the fly for my tender-aged listeners, but I would put all of it back in by the time they can read it on their own.  Which means I think it would be a perfectly wonderful book to have on our own bookshelves.

To freedom, adventure, and keeping true manhood alive!

Posted by Heather Daley on April 23, 2009, 7:21 am | Read 15787 times
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Thanks for the suggestion. I will look into it.

One book we had read a year or two ago was "Little Britches" by Ralph Moody. B especially loved it. Mr. Moody tells the true story of his family's move to Colorado in the early 1900's. He meets real cowboys (who talk like real cowboys - so a little editing) and the family works on getting their ranch up and running - no small feat as I recall.

For you Heather, I would recommend reading "Last Child in the Woods" By Richard Louv. Your first sentence above made me think about it. In his book, he talks about what he calls "nature-deficit disorder". Not a real diagnosis, but a term coined as a way for people to quickly grasp what he is talking about. How important it is for kids to have unstructured time in nature - building forts, observing, testing their limits. There are probably some videos on-line of talks he has given so you can get a sense of the book.


Posted by dstb on April 23, 2009, 8:31 am

Sounds wonderful!

Posted by SursumCorda on April 23, 2009, 8:48 am

I just placed a hold on Last Child in the Woods at our library. Sounds good.

Posted by SursumCorda on April 23, 2009, 8:56 am
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