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Friday, February 13, 2009

Oklahome History Paramount in New Cowboy Story

Prairie Dog Cowboy
By V. Gilbert Zabel
ISBN: 978-0-9797513-7-0
Publisher: 4RV Publishing
Genre: juvenile/ historical/ fiction

Review by Jacque Graham, author and editor

One of the newest young adult books to be released is the historical fiction book
Prairie Dog Cowboy written by Oklahoma author Vivian Gilbert Zabel using the name V. Gilbert Zabel:

Five-year-old Buddy sits in his snow-packed tumbleweed igloo dreaming of becoming a real cowboy who rides a horse. When he crawls out to run after one of the family's wayward cows, he sees cowboy rancher Caleb Hyman from the neighboring ranch riding toward him. When Buddy confides his dream to Caleb, he is told that if he practices his roping skills until he can rope a prairie dog Caleb will hire him to work on the Hyman ranch.

Buddy spends his days in the pasture guarding the family cows and throwing his rope
toward the prairie dog villages, eventually becoming adept at roping the small animals.

Two of his older brother's friends observe Buddy's pastime and tease him about being a "Prairie Dog Cowboy."

True to his word, Caleb hires Buddy. The boy successfully breaks horses to saddle
as he works for the ranch and on his family’s farm. Buddy is accepted by the Hyman
family and older ranch hands as he becomes a successful cowhand. The Hyman family
arranges to keep Buddy at the ranch, knowing that this will free him from the abuse he experiences from his family.

Zabel uses the Oklahoma Panhandle as the setting for this story and incorporates
some of her husband's early cowboy experiences for a realistic story of pre-statehood
Oklahoma. This book captures the young reader's attention while giving a realistic view into early frontier life as Buddy grows up.

This is a book that should be in every school library as well as in the hands of young adult readers. Find it at any bookstore, or 4RVPublishing.

The author of Prairie Dog Cowboy blogs at Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap. She reminds readers that everyone who leaves a comment on this blog will be entered in a drawing for a 4RV Publishing canvas bag. Four will be given away at the end of the book blog tour. A comment per stop equals one entry in the drawing so check out Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap, too.

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've loved. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by author names, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the index handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.


elysabeth said...

Nice review. Hoping that the tour goes well. Check out the schedule on Vivian's blog as well as mine to follow the tour. Be sure to stop by my blog on Wednesday for a fun tie-in between 1800s living and modern day ranching. See you all in the postings - E :)

Rena said...

I'm really looking forward to getting this book and reading it with my boys. Thanks for the review!

Vivian Zabel said...

Thank you for hosting Prairie Dog Cowboy today. I'm sorry we didn't seem to have any traffic.

I'll do another round of promotions.

Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks, Elysabeth. I thought Jacque wrote a good review, and I appreciate Carolyn hosting us.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

It's a pleasure hosting your review, Vivian. I also tweeted about it ( ) Figured the Arkansas angle might interest quite a few people.


Beth Bence Reinke said...

I'm a day late, but still enjoyed the interview. I love the mental picture of a 5-year-old trying to lasso a prairie dog. :o)

Suzy Koch said...

This is a wonderful way to help young adults learn about Oklahoma history. Well done, Vivian.