Friday, March 12, 2010

Catherine Cookson: Joe and the Gladiator

Next in our Allan Kass Book Cover list, we have a wonderful young adult book by Catherine Cookson, known for her adult stories, called Joe and the Gladiator. This copy was published by Signet in April 1977.

It is the story of a boy named Joe and a horse named The Gladiator, an old nag that now belongs to Joe and how he has to work hard to manage his upkeep. He has friends, like Anna and her father, the vet, but needs help and ideas in order to keep the horse.

Allan draws a wonderful picture of Joe and his horse! We see the young teen, proud and happy, with his horse, who is old and looks tired. The docks are in the background and we get the sense that Joe is smarter and able to rise above working as a common laborer. It's an interesting juxtaposition and says a lot about his family's life in England. Allan has a great ability to show the hopefulness in the boy and optimism that he can take good care of this horse, even though everyone else has doubts! I have another young adult book by C. Cookson tomorrow.

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