I love a good read. Especially when I get a behind-the-scenes peek at the roots. Greg Neri's new middle grade novel, Ghetto Cowboy, is a great read. My son, Jesse, collaborated with Greg on another novel, Chess Rumble. In this latest book, Jesse's illustrations provide backdrop to Greg's street-strong text.
There is a serious need for good books targeting boys aged 10 and up. Here's a book that begs you to read it. Starting with first glance, the cover talks back, "So what are you lookin' at?"
Greg says this book was inspired by the real-life inner-city horsemen of Philadelphia and Brooklyn.
An excerpt: "I peek inside the hole, but it's dark 'cause all the windows is boarded up. But man, it really smells like animal in there. Suddenly something big moves in the dark and I jump back.
"That's Lightning," says Harper.
My eyes adjust to a pair of dark eyes staring back at me. It's a horse. He's got a horse in the house. No wonder Mama left him.
Harper must see my eyes buggin' out, cause he smirks, "Welcome to Philly, boy."
Check out this YouTube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcEMghqgjc"This American Life: Horses in North Philly"