Tony Vincent migrates to his uncle's Christian camp in south Texas, hoping to fulfill his probation requirements and increase his chances for being accepted into an elite riding school. But as the bus fumes clear and the reality of his gritty, mosquito-infested surroundings sets in, Tony's dreams fade. Curious law officers and some mysterious activity at Camp Jericho feed his fear that he'll never be able to dispel the grim shadows that hang over his past. Then opportunity knocks - an opportunity that could recompense the past, and save Camp Jericho if Tony is brave enough to go for it. Ages 9-12.
No boots, no cowboy hat, unsure of his welcome, burdened by his probation and the grief of his fathers death, teen Tony Vincent arrives late at night at his Uncle Jacks south Texas, horse-oriented, Christian camp Jericho. Within hours, a police patrol car pulls up and questions him. Robbery, desperate wanderers, and everyday problems with the other camp inhabitants quickly become part of Tonys life. Tony becomes the horse-riding instructor while learning the rules, scrubbing pots, making friends, and coping with difficult young campers. Tonys greatest hope is to put his probation behind him and earn a scholarship to Greenwood Equestrian High School. Uncle Jack is praying for the $5000 desperately needed by August to keep the bank from foreclosing on the camp. However, things keep going terribly wrong. Mysterious people and problems are at epidemic proportions. Both must learn that Gods plan is not always our plan.
Teen novelist Betty Gaard steeps Jericho Ride in reality. Not all problems are solved. Characters do stupid things and must find ways to trust in God, growing in character through their experiences. This exciting cowboy story looks deeply into grief, fear for self and of others, personality differences and problems, lack of faith, acceptance of Christ as Savior, and the abiding peace of God in the midst of failure. Written descriptively yet simply, the plot, enhanced by many exciting twists and turns, aids in the development of the characters. The denouement leaves space for a sequel. A gripping tale to read, Jericho Ride also is useful to start group conversation about the problems faced by youth. -- Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com
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