Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Book With Kick For Boys



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"

9 comments:

Kat_RN said...

You must be proud of your son. I do agree, there are more books aimed at teen girls than boys. Have you read anything by Charles de Lint? His books really are ageless and I think they would appeal to boys as well as girls. His characters are so real. They may be involved with fantastic and magical events, but their emotions and the things they must deal with are universal.
What are you working on now?

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hey Kat, I have not read de Lint's work. I'll check it out. I am working on several picture book stories (both the writing and the illustrating). I've also been doing a lot of writing and illustrating workshops lately. Hope it's not too hot out your way.

steven said...

hey richard - so cool a story!!! i watched the video (oh yeah, the last letter of the link you posted here ("g) didn't get grabbed by the link so here's the full-link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcEMghqgjcg) the video is so amazing. steven

Michaele Razi said...

Awesome! Will have to check it out. The cover is fantastic!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks Steven. Fixed it.

Michaele, appreciate it.

painthorsestudio said...

Hi, I just found your blog and I am amazed at your talents. So many interesting things on here and being a mother to young kids it is so nice to see that yours are following in your footsteps. Great work, congratulations on your success, and THANK YOU for sharing. I am also in Washington. :)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hi Kristina. Thanks for visiting. Love your work. Horses are a unique challenge to draw or paint. You obviously know them well, and paint them beautifully. I enjoyed seeing your Hawaii plein-air paintings as well.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

How proud you must be of your son!
I have a grandson of twelve this book sounds right up his street.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hi Shirley, thanks for dropping by. I am proud of my kids. They have good hearts. Love your blog and the way you describe yourself.