Halvorson, Marilyn. Bull Rider. Orca, 2003. ISBN 978-1551432335 128 pp. $
In Bull Rider, Layne defies his mother to tackle the sport that killed his father: bull riding. With the help of a mentor, he might just have a chance at landing a prize–or he might break his neck. Layne’s moral dilemma would make a excellent topic for classroom discussion.
Ninety pages of enlarged typeface doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for details such as setting and character development, but the quick pace, suspense, and sports action blended with a light “love interest” subplot will hold the reader’s attention once the snazzy cover has hooked. While not quite as tightly written as those by Beth Goobie and William Bell (side note: when is Orca going to commission Don Trembath to write a Soundings book?), the series as a whole is highly recommended. The rodeo-themed Bull Rider may not do as well here in New England as in other areas; the Canadian settings generally don’t limit the audience. Recommended for school and public libraries.