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Four boys lounge around a campfire beside the lapping edge of Lake Inclement.  They each are a perfect 12 years of age, at the stepping off point of their teenaged years, when diving in the lake with friends and gobbling hotdogs around the fireside is just about more important than anything else.  The star-studded sky stretches out above them, and they talk about nothing much when suddenly a glow appears in the woods to the south.  All of them-- Walt, Paxton, Carpenter, Zack, and his faithful beagle, Flash, wonder at the sight, but it is Grampa Clondyke, Carp’s beloved grandfather that is there to tell the tale of the light in the forest.  It is a story he has kept buried deep inside for 70 years.  He paints them a picture with his words  of life in Inclement in the 1930’s.  He talks about Orland Buck, an unusual African American father and his daughter, Delilah,  who arrive in Inclement in a pristine white Cadillac with money flowing from their pockets in a never ending stream. Orland Buck built himself and his daughter a house high up on what is now known as Buck’s Point, and then he built his pretty little Delilah a rodeo arena simply because she wanted it. .  Grampa’s story weaves a spell over the boys, and they return night after night to hear more and more about  Buck’s Rodeo, the magical Delilah and the undercurrent of racism that the Buck family and anyone who associated with them faced all those years ago.  And the boys begin to notice strange coincidences, odd correlations of current events with the story Grampa is sharing.  Zack, also a newcomer to Inclement, begins to wonder if his father, a well-known photographer now dead 8 long years,  somehow could have made his way to this Inclement of the past, and into Grampa’s tale.  roger:  Zack, also a newcomer to Inclement, begins to wonder how his father, a well-known photographer now dead 8 long years,  could be connected to the photographer in this Inclement of the past, and into Grampa’s tale The boys decide that hearing the story is not enough.  They need to travel up to Buck’s Point and to whatever mysteries lie there even after Grampa strictly forbids them to go.  There they learn the secrets of Buck’s Rodeo, of Delilah’s magical talent, and the horrible consequences of senseless hate.  in the end, some mysteries are solved, while others are continued in the next book in the series, The Western Radio Hub. 

Buck’s Rodeo is written with a strong descriptive voice that paints a story for your imagination to savor.  It is written for those 12 and up, but all ages will enjoy this trip to the mythical town of Inclement, Iowa which rests on the shores of sparkling Lake Inclement.  Like any other small town, characters abound, from Thorson Poe, the owner of the excellent Poe’s Pizza Pies, to the scruffy band BETWIXT who plays folksongs in the park and seems to have some sort of mystical connection to Buck’s Rodeo.  Come visit.  Stay a while.  Take a dip in the lake.  Sit around the fire and let it bake your clothes dry as you listen to a gravelly voice transport you to another time and place.  Scarf down a hotdog with the boys.  But don’t forget to throw a bite to Flash every once in a while.  Beagles love campfire cookin’. 

BUCK'S RODEO --The New Adventure Story From Author/Illustrator Tracy Lovett
Click below to download a free pdf of the first chapter of Buck's Rodeo