Author Jan Young was kind enough to send me an email to see if I would be willing to read and review two of her novels. Boy would I ever! The three weeks it took them to travel from Nevada to Victoria, Australia was perhaps longer than the time it’ll take me to read both!
The Orange Slipknot is a tale of a twelve year old boy named Ben who lives on a ranch in Nevada where his father is a cowboy. Ben dreams of growing up to do exactly as his father is and sooner rather than later!
It seems however that Ben’s age and his father’s boss Fred are both against him. Fred is convinced that Ben is immature and irresponsible. An accident caused by Ben that results in loose horses is the last straw.
Fred tells the young boy he wants him nowhere near his horses or cows. Ben is devastated and unsure how to make it up to his disappointed father. What’s worse, the accident has resulted in the death of a horse that Ben’s father needs to pay for.
As Ben struggles to make amends and right the mistakes that he caused, this coming of age tale explores how a young boy can make sound decisions, turn to his God and gain the respect of his elders. Jan Young writes an educational and entertaining tale in the Orange Slipknot. Some added bonuses for me were the great illustrations by Pat Lehmkuhl and Jan Young’s list of ‘ranching terms and cowboy slang’ defined at the end of the novel.
The Orange Slipknot is a well named novel that explores a young boy’s journey to behave like a man in a harsh environment.
Note – there is also a curriculum unit for this novel for teachers and homeschoolers. Take a look at Jan’s site!
“A cowboy is a man with guts and a horse.” – Will James