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Texas Tomboy: 10/09/10

cover art

>Lois Lenski died shortly after my first birthday. My mother's collection of picture books from her childhood had a many a Lenski title. So her books were part of my childhood. Recently I discovered her longer books at my local library and I've been checking them out as a I have the time.

My most recent Lenski read was Texas Tomboy. It's the story of a rough and ready girl who can ride a horse better than anyone and has a temper that needs reining in. She and her family are going through a rough drought (spelled drout in the book) that's likely to kill their cattle and lose them the ranch.

Texas Tomboy should have been a slam dunk for me. I normally love this sort of story and it certainly brought to mind other excellent novels: namely, Buffalo Grass by Frank Gruber, Dude Woman and Arizona both by Clarence Budington Kelland. Somehow though I never connected with the story or the main character. She seemed inconsistent and completely oblivious to the hardship her family was facing. And that lack of empathy or basic awareness made her too unlikeable a character for me.

That said, the book does have Lenski's delightful illustrations and it does provide a glimpse of the hardships of raising cattle and homesteading in drought prone Texas.

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