The Last of the Roundup Boys

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9780823418145: The Last of the Roundup Boys

When Tom Hunter's family faces financial difficulties, he comes to work right alongside Evie on her family ranch and, considering their feelings for one another, is just about the best thing that could happen, in a romantic frontier tale about two young people in love and fighting for their future.

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About the Author:

Debra Seely's debut novel, Grasslands, won the 2002-2003 Society of Midland Authors Award for children's fiction, was a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year 2003, and was chosen as a finalist for the 2003 Western Writers of America Spur Award for best western juvenile fiction. She is a native Kansan. You can visit Debra Seely on the Web at www.debraseely.com.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-10–A companion to Grasslands (Holiday, 2002), set in the late 1800s in Kansas. Not only has Tom's dad taken the money wired to the 17-year-old by his sister to attend his grandparents' funerals, but Papa has also hired his son out to Parsons, a well-off rancher. Tom is angry, but discovers he really likes the job–and Parsons's daughter. A cowgirl at heart, Evie wants to run the ranch some day, despite having an older brother who is the heir apparent. Her parents expect her to marry a well-off suitor, but she is as attracted to Tom as he is to her. The two meet secretly whenever possible, but are afraid to plan for a future together. A major blizzard hits and Tom almost dies while searching for missing cows. When the weather clears, Parsons organizes a roundup, and Evie, worried about her own small herd, disguises herself as a boy and goes along. Tom must then decide whether or not to keep her secret and risk endangering his job. Told in the alternating voices of Tom and Evie, two strong and appealing characters, this story has a well-constructed plot that makes it a fun and exciting read. Fans of Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Gib Rides Home (1998) and Gib and the Gray Ghost (2000, both Delacorte) should enjoy it.–Janet Hilbun, formerly at Sam Houston Middle School, Garland, TX
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