A book rocking with the sights, smells and sounds of rodeo.
A selection of the Junior Library Guild!
Published by Boyds Mills Press under their poetry Wordsong Imprint
Photography by Jan Sonnenmair
“This smooth blend of prose narrative and free verse introduces the rodeo. Clearly written descriptions of sights and sounds common to rodeos large or small, along with vivid evocations of each event’s speed and skill, are all tinged with clouds of dusty drama. In first-person poems, competitors—from young children to veteran bull riders—ruminate as they take their brief turns in the arena. Sonnenmair’s atmospheric color photographs capture both contemplative and climactic moments, focusing mostly on younger performers or spectators. There are also portraits of a pair of decidedly dangerous-looking bulls and a tribute to the courageous rodeo clown. Even knowledgeable young cowpokes will come away understanding more about the rules, history, and appeal of this intergenerational event—and the author also ropes in a generous array of print and web resources for readers to explore.” -Booklist Online
School Library Journal Review · April 2013
The history and tradition of the Navajo rodeo are made lively and accessible in this “day-in-the-life” account. Short narrative poems accompany each spread, recounting the anticipation, determination, danger, and excitement of the day.
“Big Brahma bull/stands square,/glares./Big Brahma bull/head down/ horns able/to rip a rider wide apart./Big Brahma bull…/My turn to ride.” An announcer guides readers through the book (and each individual event) page by page. “Ladies and Gents, all eyes to the arena for our first timed event. Watch close, or you just might miss the action. These calf ropers are fast as lightning!”
Children will easily be roped in, from barrel racing to steer wrestling, team roping to bareback bull riding. Each event is described in concise, informative detail. The colorful photos almost steal the show as they expertly capture the athletes and animals in action.
Warm and inviting, the book gives a real sense of what it’s like to be a part of the Navajo rodeo. A top-notch introduction to a unique event. -Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
Photos by Jan Sonnenmair ©Boyds Mills Press
Cowboy Up! Downloads
- Activity Guide - A free download for teachers to use Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo - 28 pages of activities for almost all aspects of the curriculum
- Deb Gonzales, creator of the Teacher's Guide, describes contents here.
Cowboy Up! Awards
- NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Notable Poetry Books for 2014
- Notable Books for a Global Society (NBGS) award list 2014
- California Reading Association’s Eureka! Nonfiction 2013 Honor Awards
- New Mexico-Arizona Book Award - Juvenile Literature
- PEN Steven Kroll 2014 (long list/ six books) recognition of picture book writing
- The Horn Book recommended books, Native American
- Colorado Book Award, Juvenile Literature, Finalist
- Bank Street Best Books of the Year (ages 5-9: Today)
- Library Guild Selection
- Interview by Vicki Palmquist · Bookology Magazine
- The Horn Book: Recommended Books - Native Americans
- Review by proseandkahn
- Review by Randomly Reading
- Interview with Nancy Bo Flood by Gigi Amateau
- Review by Elizabeth Bird
- Kids at the Rodeo: A Review of Cowboy Up! by Lyn Miller Lachmann
- Review by Diane Kress Hower
- Your Friend, Nancy Bo Flood!
- Nancy Bo Flood's Story
- Giveaway – Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo
- Jan Sonnenmair's iPhone Photography Blog
- Dallas Morning News story