Horses have always meant freedom and fresh air
to Joe Novara, who grew up in Detroit after World War II in an Italian
neighborhood called Cagalupo. During high school, he worked at a summer camp in
northern Michigan, where he learned to ride and eventually taught campers basic
horsemanship. It was these experiences that inspired him to write the
young-adult novel Wa-Tonka! Camp Cowboys.
As a young man, Mr. Novara also lived in Italy for a number
of years, learning Italian, living with his relatives in Sicily, and traveling
throughout Europe. He has spent a summer in Mexico and in Malta and visited
Spain, Greece, and the Holy Land. He has ridden horses in the rain forest in
Puerto Rico, around the pyramids in Egypt, in Tucson and Taos, Encinita and
Queretaro, Tamasopo and Tennessee.
Mr. Novara studied philosophy as an
undergraduate at Sacred Heart Seminary then earned his master's degree in mass
communication at Wayne State University. He later taught writing and speech at a
number of colleges and universities, managed a hospital media center, and
conducted communication training sessions for Coca-Cola, the Michigan State
Police, and State Farm Insurance.
A frequent contributor of articles to
Mother Earth News and Horse and Rider magazine, Mr. Novara lives with
his wife in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where they raised three daughters. In addition
to his work in corporate communications training, he enjoys sailing,
racquetball, and sharing his stories and poems with students in classroom