In this Newbery Honor—winning story from 1984, a new family builds a relationship as a stepfather and stepson celebrate their differences and take heart in their similarities.
About the Author
I grew up in New City, New York, and Princeton, New Jersey. I loved everything to do with the West: especially saddles, old horseshoes, and boots with inlaid roses on the sides. I have been a cowboy ever since I was a little kid--and I'm not talking fringy skirt. I'm talking woolly chaps and huge palomino horse that rears up on its hind legs, snorts, whinnies, and gallops across the plains in a thunderstorm when I'm out there chasing bad guys. However, in my actual real life, I moved out West when I was eighteen but didn't buy a horse. I have to admit it: I've never had the cattle, only the hat. Total livestock count: one sheep. I studied sculpture, education, and law. I've been an elementary school teacher and--thanks to Frances Foster--a children's writer. Frances started me off writing children's books, and I will be forever in her debt for that.
I have lived on a small ranch in northern California for 32 years. I have two great stepsons and two great daughters. For the past two years, I have been writing lyrics for country songs, fulfilling the not-so-secret dream I've had ever since my book "No One is Going to Nashville "was published in 1983. Now that my kids are grown, I spend all of my spare time out on the high desert plains under the big skies with my husband, Bob, where we drive out on lonesome, two-rut roads to hunt for rocks, twisted wire, and rusty, shot-up buckets and cans. And to rustle up ideas and images: for books, songs, and artwork. Bob is a sculptor who incorporates found objects in his work. I am his biggest fan, lifelong companion, and partner in the hunt. He's an art cowboy who wears J.B. Hill boots with stars on the tops and a Stetson with a bent brim. I've been getting a lot of ideas and inspiration from Bob, beginning with "No One is Going to Nashville "and "Like Jake and Me "and continuing right on up through "Smoke". So, thanks, Bob!