Fourteen-year-old Nick Finazzo lives in a tiny house in Detroit’s lower east side, where he sleeps wedged between one restless brother and another thumb-sucking one. When he is hired as a junior camp counselor at Wa-Tonka, a horseback-riding camp, he jumps at the chance to have his own bunk, ride horses, and make new friends.
Once there, Nick encounters even more new experiences than he expected. He finds himself not only appreciating the space he finds in northern Michigan but the space inside himself. For years he complained of the responsibilities he had taking care of his younger siblings, but now he finds that taking charge is something that comes naturally and that he does well!
Young readers in urban areas who crave a summertime getaway and boys and girls who enjoy horses and horseback-riding tales will find this coming-of-age story realistically appealing. Anyone who has ever attended summer camp and come back home a new person will appreciate Nick’s story.
A Study Guide is included containing new vocabulary and spelling words, topics for essay and discussion and exercises for mapping and visualization.
About the Author
Author Joe Novara was inspired to write this story based on his own boyhood experiences working as a counselor at a horse camp in northern Michigan. A frequent contributor of articles to Mother Earth News and Horse and Rider magazine, Mr. Novara lives with his wife in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he works in corporate communications training. In addition to writing young-adult novels, Mr. Novara enjoys sailing, racquetball, and sharing his stories and poems with students in classroom settings.
WA-TONKA! Camp Cowboys
By Joe Novara
Illustrated by Robert Lawson and Kimberly Spatrisano
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Adolescence
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
120 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Ages 8-10 Grades 3-5
ISBN: 9781589803541 pb