author: G. Neri
illustrator: Jesse Joshua Watson
When Cole moves in with his dad, Harp, he thinks life will be sweet—just him and his horse hanging out with Philadelphia’s urban cowboys. But when Harp says he has to get a job, Cole becomes a stable hand for the polo team at George Washington Military Academy, where the players are rich, white, and stuck-up—all except Ruthie, the team’s first and only girl, who’s determined to show the others she can beat them at their own game. As Cole and Ruthie become friends—and maybe more—he starts imagining a possible future at the academy. But between long workdays, arrogant polo players, and a cousin trying to pull Cole into his dangerous business, that future seems remote. Will Cole find the courage to stand and be seen in a world determined to keep him out? With striking illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson, celebrated author G. Neri’s novel weaves themes of tenacity and community into a rousing sports story inspired by Philadelphia’s real-life urban cowboys and polo players.
“Polo and cowboys come together, with a main character who will leap off the page and into readers’ hearts, in this moving story of growing up and grit.” —School Library Journal (starred review)