Monday, May 27, 2013

Non-Fiction Monday: Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo by Nancy Bo Flood

I am pleased to be hosting Non-fiction Monday this Memorial Day. Please leave your links in the comments below and I will add them through the day. My offering is:

Photography by Jan Sonnenmair. 40 p. Wordsong/ Boyds Mills Press, March, 2013. 9781590787936. (Review copy provided by publisher for PLNNJ) (Cross-posted at

The rodeo is brought to life in this lovely homage in poetry, expository narrative and photos from sundown the day before a competition to sundown on the day of the competition. The design is pleasing, from the collage of rodeo participants and would-be participants on the end- pages, through the dramatic opening poem featuring the reflections of a nervous competitor juxtaposed with a dramatic photograph of a cowboy practicing throwing his rope at sundown. Each page invites young readers to experience the excitement of the rodeo as a sport and the commitment to it as a way of life.

The rodeo may be foreign to my students, living as we do in northern New Jersey. They may have seen one on television but might not be aware of how integral it is in the Navajo community. I admit that I was not. I liked how the author compares a young Navajo's dreams of competing in big-time rodeo competitions to suburban kids dreams of Major League Baseball. 

Readers may be surprised to learn that children as young as three compete in rodeos. I know I was. Those pint-sized cowboys were too adorable. It's also a family affair. One of my favorite poems was, That's My Grandpa, which was a dialogue between a granddaughter and her grandpa, who was a world champion bronco rider and is now a rodeo announcer.  Many of the events from wooly riders to team roping are covered. So it the Midway, where the food looks amazing. The day ends with a poem in which a father comforts his son about losing, explaining that, "Losing is part of rodeo/ Falling is how you learn..."

The narrative portions explain the workings from setting up the arena to heading home, with a page at the end which sums up some rodeo history and hopefully whets the reader's appetite for more. If they turn the page, the author provides books and websites for further exploration.

Not only does this volume fill the need to share diverse cultures in school and public libraries, but it can be used as a mentor text in the classroom. ETA: look here, it's already done for you! 

Author's website and guest post.

Other reviews:
The Pirate Tree

Booktalking#kidlit's Anastasia is in first with Dolphins in the Navy, part of America's Animal Soldiers series.

Ami, of A Mom's Spare Time was surprised by a biography of
Jennifer Lawrence. 

Jeanne is featuring Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim at True Tales & a Cherry on Top

Myra shared some books about art that she bought in India as well as several other memes over at Gathering Books.

Pop over to Jean Little Little Library where Jennifer comments on two books in ABDO's Garden to Table series.

The country of India figures in this post submitted by Tammy
from Apples with Many Seeds.

Liz at Kid Lit About Politics reviewed a new book by one of my favorite non-fiction writers, Kathleen Krull, What Was the Boston Tea Party?

Over at Stacking Books, Rashema posted a review of Barack
Obama's Of Thee I Sing: A letter to my daughters.

Karen of Ms. Yingling Reads features a fun looking cookbook 
called, Kids in the Kitchen by Sandy 
Mary Ann of Great Kids Books is collaborating with 100 Scope Notes, The Nonfiction Detectives and Kid Lit Frenzy to highlight books and their Common Core Connections. Click here to read about their vision and here and here to find out how books about frogs connect to the Common Core.

Who's next?


  1. Good morning, thanks for hosting!

  2. Thanks for hosting! At Booktalking I'm reading Dolphins in the Navy (America’s Animal Soldiers) by Meish Goldish

  3. Thanks for hosting today! At True Tales & A Cherry On Top, I'm featuring the lyrical picture book biography Fifty Cents and a Dream - Young Booker T. Washington

  4. Hi there! Thank you for hosting Nonfiction Monday this week. I am sharing a celebration of the power of art and peace in picture books from India. Here is the link:

  5. I am sharing two samples from a gardening/cooking series, Cool Garden to Table at JeanLittleLibrary


  6. Thanks for looking after today's event. At Apples with Many Seeds, Drawing from the City looks at the life journey of Indian artist Tejubehan, a beautifully produced book from Tara Books.

  7. Thanks so much for hosting Nonfiction Monday! At Kid Lit About Politics I have a review of "What Was the Boston Tea Party" by Kathleen Krull. It's at



  8. Thanks for hosting! We are reading Of Thee I sing at Stacking Books:


  9. I have a review of Kids in the Kitchen up at
    Thanks for hosting!

  10. Hi Brenda! Loving your new blog site here! Last week I started a fun new feature called the Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries with 3 other blogs: 100 Scope Notes, The Nonfiction Detectives and Kid Lit Frenzy. You can read about our vision here:

    For our first series, we pulled together books all about FROGS, gradually increasing in text complexity. I was looking at books for middle grade readers, both read alouds and independent reads. Hope you get a chance to stop by!

    Hope to connect in real life this summer!

    Mary Ann