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Cowboy on the Steppes BSC185


Song Nan Zhang, who chronicled his own life in postwar China in two previous books, now illustrates a journal written by his brother. In 1968, Yi Nan Zhang, 18, was sent from Beijing to work on a commune in the vast open grassland steppes of Inner Mongolia, where he was assigned to cutting hay. Bored, he requested to work as a cowboy. The book follows a year in his life among the Mongolian cattle herders. Given a precious horse, the teen was slowly accepted by his fellow herdsmen as he mastered difficult skills. His adventures, told through evocative, brief journal entries, may seem exciting to younger children, while older children will understand the emotional context of the events described with such economy and restraint: the death of an infant, encounters with unpredictable weather, the threat of hungry wolves. Living in several yurts, the young man came to understand the complex working relationships of the nomads. The illustrations, drawn in gentle colors on pages facing the text with occasional double page spreads, are carefully composed, conveying the narrator's shifting emotions and the vast sweep of the steppes. Both art and text depict a way of life that has not changed much in hundreds of years, portraying these distant cowboys with respect and affection. Ages 9-12.

By SONG NAN ZHANG, Hardcover, 32 Pages, English, 10.3" x 8.9"
Item: Cowboy on the Steppes
Our Price:US$ 16.95
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