A Small White Scar by K.A. Nuzum

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  12 and up

# of Pages:   180 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

Award Winner:  Iowa Teen Award 2009-2010

Set in the 1940’s, Will lives on a ranch with his dad and twin brother, Denny.  Will struggles with the fact that his twin has some mental development problems and when their mother died their father put Will in charge of Denny.  Now that they are teenagers Will wants to participate in rodeos and get hired at a ranch that will let him do more than just look after his brother.  He gets the idea to run away to a rodeo and get hired at a ranch afterward, but his brother follows him.  Will struggles with the fact that he wants to leave his brother behind because he does love him, but he also wants to reach for his goals and that is not possible if Denny is around.  As Denny surprises him by persistently following him to the rodeo he must decide if he really wants to run away from his home.

Will’s story is a story that anyone could identify with who has ever struggled with personal wishes and obligations to another person.  Will does a lot of thinking about his situation and often feels torn as to what he should do.  In the end, his actions to run away help him, his father, and Denny learn to look toward the future and not stay in the past.  This might be a difficult story for students to get into, but once they start they will be able to identify with one of the characters in some way.

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