Joyce Carol Thomas
a novel for young adults

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"A mountain's a task you fix for your spirit, a wild horse the challenge to your soul."
There was a boy and his father and his grandfather, and they were divided by a generation of anger. The ties that bound them had dissolved.
Then one magnificent horse and the legend of another rose out of the past to bind man to man and father to son.
Here is their story.
With the same lyrical intensity that distinguished her American Book Award winner, Marked by Fire, Joyce Carol Thomas expands upon the story of a community, and brings to life the extraordinary essence of everyday people.
excerpts from The Golden Pasture:
page 8

She searched for a quiet place. A place of uncommon beauty and peace.

It was here. She had seen it many times before. She had visited this birth room which she herself had prepared.

Bent again with pain, she stopped and held onto the trunk of a pecan tree, the limbs bowed down with snow. Now a skeleton of a tree.

No, this was not the place.

She moved on.

She passed beneath a stately elm, its snow arms outstretched.

She brushed against the slender bones of honeysuckle bushes, seeing where the snow quilted the exposed branches a seamless white.

No, this was not the place. Yet.

A bushy-tailed red fox moved nearby, cunningly. He watched her.

He stayed a distance behind her and followed. Tracking her, keeping count of the times she stopped to clasp her golden belly, and the duration of each wave of pain.

The fox watched, a smile lingering just under his fox snout around his fox lips.

page 118

From the cab of the pickup Carl Lee could barely make out the outline of Cloudy riding quietly in the green trailer behind them as they josteled along the road to Boley.

Gray was quiet too, thinking.

Carl Lee followed suit, gazing out the window at the redbud trees and counting the miles from Golden Pasture to the rodeo and wondering if he would still be a cowpoke when the day was over. Or if he'd be a cowboy recognized by the small world of rodeo people.

Finally, he saw the sign proclaiming "Boley, Oklahoma, population 512."

"Not on Rodeo Day," he whispered; on Rodeo Day the population ran into the thousands.

The town wasn't big enough to hold all the spectators and participants, so the dusty campers spilled out into the coutryside.

He read the license plates from Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Califonia and New York.

"Made it in good time," said Gray.

They pulled into the grounds at the same time as the rodeo clown was parking his truck.

Text © 1986 Joyce Carol Thomas. Jacket © 1986 Max Ginsberg. Cover © 1986 Scholastic Inc.
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