I thought the same thing, but he lives not far from me, so surely it’s true for me, though he denies it. In addition to taking place in a wonderful chaparral forest, Ghost Medicine is also a great coming of age story told through modern cowboys.
Sixteen-year-old Troy Stotts lost his brother when he was just a kid. Now his mother has died of a long and difficult illness. He and his father communicate mostly through a notepad on the kitchen table, and have for a long time, keeping a special closeness and a certain distance through tough times.
Troy retreats to his horse, the vast countryside, and some of the best friends a guy could ask for. He tries to remember, to forget, and to find his own path in a difficult world.
He’s thrilled when Mr. Benavidez hires him to spend the summer working on the Benavidez horse ranch with his fearless friend Tom Buller. Gabe Benavidez and his beautiful sister Luz form the rest of Troy’s tribe of friends, riding horses, exploring, and camping out.
They meet with brush fires, a rattlesnake, and a mountain lion, but the biggest danger turns out to be the sheriff’s errant son. As the book flap sums it up, “Troy and his friends want to disappear. Instead, they will become what they least expect – brothers, lovers, heroes, and ghosts.”
Ghost Medicine was picked by School Library Journal as one of the best books for boys who like to hunt. Smith says, “I thought this was really cool because I was on the list right next to Where the Red Fern Grows.”
Ghost Medicine is a Young Adult novel rated for ages 12 and up.