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Bull Rider

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  488 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
All it takes is eight seconds....

Cam O'Mara, grandson and younger brother of bull- riding champions, is not interested in partaking in the family sport. Cam is a skateboarder, and perfecting his tricks -- frontside flips, 360s -- means everything until his older brother, Ben, comes home from Iraq, paralyzed from a brain injury.

What would make a skateboarder take a di
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 924)
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Nov 04, 2014 Jesse rated it it was amazing
I read the book Bull Rider by Suzanne Morgan Williams. This book is about the family O'Mara, which has three championship bull riders: Cam’s brother, his Dad, his Grandpa, his mom, and his little sister and then theres Cam. Cam doesn’t ride bull, he likes to ride skateboard. His brother goes to Iraq to help fight in the war. But something goes very wrong when he over there. Ben gets hit by a bolt in the head and has bad head injuries. So Cam is thinking about ride the bull, Ugly, and if he can f ...more
Jacqueline Garlick
Jun 17, 2012 Jacqueline Garlick rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book. Fabulous topic. Daring exploration of human condition. An extremely well-written, heart-tugging tale. Smiles.
Jan 15, 2010 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: guy-books
When you've read a lot of YA, it can be hard to review a book like "Bull Rider." Some kids will really like this one. The rural setting, the skateboarding, and the consequences of war will go over well with a certain type of reader. The language and content is squeaky clean, yet the conflicts are real and effective, so middle school or high school readers could get something out of it. Our narrator's voice is clear and honest. As a resident of Nevada, I really appreciated Williams' attention to ...more
Aug 04, 2009 Frezanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult, own
This book introduces me to Bull Riding. Same as Cam, I also first thought that only crazy adrenaline junkie will do this kind of sport. I realy love the details about bull riding, ranch living, cowboy, and also war through the yes of ordinary people. We saw war news everyday on TV. It seems faraway and disconnected with our life. Sometimes it's also easy to just point finger at USA to blame for meddling and starting the Iraq war....However when you become a witness, soldier or the family of the ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it
Cam O'Mara, grandson and younger brother of bull riding champions, is not interested in carrying out the family name in bull riding. He is rather more interested in skateboarding and perfecting his tricks. But all of that will change when his older brother Ben decides to trade in his cowboy hat for a helmet and a rifle and goes to war.

Cam gets terrible news about Ben and he is coming home from the war early. Cam believes that Ben is not hurt too bad and he will be fine and soon hopes to see hi
Joanna Marple
Oct 24, 2011 Joanna Marple rated it it was amazing
For ages 10-14, though I believe this is a book that will be appreciated by many adults. Paradoxically this is a book full of teenage action (from skateboarding to the bull ring) and yet it is a book that makes you want to pause frequently and listen to the deeper message. It opens up the small-town world and the relationship of two Nevada brothers. Cam, the adolescent skateboarder, has always left the family bull-riding tradition to others braver or more foolish than he, and Ben, a marine, retu ...more
May 05, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: grades 7-9
Recommended to Sarah by: 7/8 list
Skateboarding is Cam’s passion; on the other hand, bull riding is his family’s passion (well, everyone except his mom). Cam’s grandpa, father, and older brother have all won awards for their bull riding abilities, but Cam wants nothing to do with it…that is, until his brother Ben returns from the Iraq war with a severe head injury and an amputated arm, no longer able to ride a bull.

Ben’s recovery is slow-going but the family tries to keep a positive attitude. However, as Ben’s progress slows, Be
Katy Jane
Jul 01, 2014 Katy Jane rated it it was amazing
1. I could completely see the settings in my head. They were so vivid and real.
2. The characters became people I knew and Cam's friends and family were my friends and family. They were believable and lovable.
3. I cried when the neighbors and friends helped build Ben's room. The camaraderie of the community was so beautiful to me.
4. This is my second book I've read about bull riding and it's becoming a very interesting subject to me.
5. Lali dressing her goat up was so cute and funny.
6. Speakin
Jacob Golden
Aug 25, 2016 Jacob Golden rated it really liked it
I thought the book was fantastic. The heartbreaking story of Cam O'Mara's older brother Ben, getting paralyzed in a road side bombing in Iraq and also losing his arm and suffering from TBI, to the amazing win Cam made for his older brother's future bull bucking company. This is a tragic tale about Cams brother Ben getting paralyzed in Iraq. Cam, who spent most of his time learning ticks on his skateboard, hated seeing his brother like that, especially because the TBI made him lose most of his me ...more
Mary Beth
Jul 09, 2016 Mary Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Cam, the middle child of a ranching family, has always felt second to his older brother, Ben. Ben was born first. Ben won the state high school rodeo championship. Ben kept the O'Mara family legacy of bull riding alive while Cam became a skateboarder. Ben went to serve his country, as a Marine, overseas and received all of their mother's worry. Now, Ben is home and taking up all of his parent's attention because he has to recover from the loss of an arm, learn to walk again (hopefully), cope wit ...more
Jun 03, 2015 S430999 rated it it was amazing
A boy named Cam O'mara had to become a bull rider so he could help his family pay the hospital bills for his brother that got his arm blown off and was paralyzed in the army. He didn't know how to ride a bull but his whole family had been filled with bull riders. So his grandpa would take him down to the arena and let him practice on riding bulls but his grandpa didn't know what Cam had planned. Cam was gonna ride a bull named Ugly and he was gonna win $15,000 so he could help his family. So whe ...more
Jun 10, 2015 Kristy rated it really liked it
I won this book in a raffle and I wasn't expecting to like it (but I read it anyway because I'm a ridiculous woman). I mean, come on: a young adult novel about a skate boarding ranch kid from a family of bull riders whose older brother comes home from Iraq missing an arm and unable to walk, which then pushes the kid to try bull riding himself in order to prove to his brother that the impossible is possible (and to win some prize money to help with hospital bills). Whew. Well, that may sound kind ...more
May 11, 2015 Charissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
YA hero’s journey. Cam is just your normal 14 year old boy who lives in Salt Lick, Nevada (a fictional blip of a town). Though his family is ranchers, he’s a skateboarder. Life changes when his big brother, Ben, is injured in Iraq and returns home broken and depressed. Cam wants his brother back, not this slug in the wheelchair that doesn’t have any hope anymore. Desperate to spark the flame of hope again in Ben’s life, Cam trades in his skateboard for bull riding, determined to ride Ugly, the m ...more
Giuseppe C
May 01, 2015 Giuseppe C rated it it was amazing
Summary of novel:
Cam O'mara is Ben little brother. In the beginning Ben is in the War, and he also rides bulls. when he is at home he rides when he is at the war he is fighting. One day when Cam is at school his brother got blown up in an explosion. so his parent went to go and check on Ben and he's doing ok. then Cam wanted to ride a bull a few days later, and when he got home his mom yelled at him. Now Cam is starting to be a pro at riding bulls. when his older brother is watching him.

Main ch
Nov 05, 2015 Harvey rated it it was amazing
I thought that is was an interesting book. The book is about a boy who's family lives on a farm and his brother is in the army. His brother comes home once in a while. Before his brother went into the army he was a high school bull riding champion. The boy was never in to bull riding; he was the type that rode skate boards and wore flat bills. One original day, when the boy was at school he got called into the office and was picked up by his grandpa. His grandpa didn't say anything but "it's abo ...more
Mrs. Hassig
Jan 23, 2016 Mrs. Hassig rated it really liked it
There aren't very many but this is a an honest story about what happens to some of our young men and women that come home from Iraq and Afghanistan and are no longer whole. What happens when your older brother is the perfect physical and mental specimen before Iraq and after suffering a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) comes home unrecognizable? Everyone around you is trying to act normal, but you know that life for you and him will never be the same again. Bull Rider tells the truth about TBIs thro ...more
Leah M
Mar 08, 2016 Leah M rated it it was amazing
I've read it alot before and every time its awesome!
Jan 08, 2015 Jensen4 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is a very good book. If you are interested in an intense suspenseful book this would be the one. Also, if you like rodeo western books this is a very good book for that genre. This book is about a 14 year boy that's big brother is in the army. His brother gets hurts and has to come home. His brother is paralyzed from the waste down. So the boy decides to take on his family tradition and ride bulls. His mother does not want him to ride, but he is determined that he is going to. ...more
The Short Version:
Realistic and holding strong tones of family bonds, Bull Rider easily straddles the line between younger and older YA. Centered around a fourteen year old boy, it reads in an easy way for a younger crowd while still holding all the emotions of an older one. Blending light and deep, and using bull riding and skateboarding to bring the characters to life, Bull Rider makes for a quick but memorable read.

The Extended Version:
Cam is a very easy character to like, loyal to his family
Dec 15, 2010 Jessi rated it really liked it
This book is not something I would typically read because, I'll confess, I am not a lover of anything rodeo, but I was interested in reading it because it looked like something fresh and different from the usual book for middle grade students.

I really enjoyed reading it because of Cam's perspective. His emotions were portrayed perfectly for a boy of his age, realistically mixing his worry for his brother with his worry for himself. He has to overcome living in the shadow of his semi-famous famil
Oct 15, 2010 Travis rated it it was amazing
Bull rideris an amizing book .Yhere are parts in that book that will put you on the edge of your seat . There are parts in the book that will make you cry and feel sad.The main cerictors ate the o'maras 1st Cam 2nd Ben 3rd Dad 4th Mom 5th grandma Gean 6th grampa .There family live on a ranch in salt lick. The auther Suzanne morgan williams lets the omaras speak their piece on war and sacrifive,family,loyalty and courage.they reveal what it means to live in the hart of modern west. There are alou ...more
Elise (Bookish Delights)
Jun 26, 2011 Elise (Bookish Delights) rated it it was amazing
Powerful. Poignant. Uplifting. Emotional. Beautiful. Told with authenticity and sincerity, Bull Rider makes a very bold statement that will last much longer than the requisite eight seconds in bull riding. Suzanne Morgan Williams is truly a masterful storyteller when it comes to understanding and capturing the dynamics of a family, especially when faced with hardships. Never taking away from the honor, dignity, and bravery of serving one’s country, Bull Rider provides a touching and impeccably r ...more
Lindsay Paige
Dec 11, 2010 Lindsay Paige rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a good read
The book is told through Cam O’Mara (I love that last name). Cam is a fifteen year old boy born into a bull riding family. Grandpa Roy rode, Dad wrote, and his brother Ben rode. Cam has no interest in bull riding; he’ll leave that for his brother. But Ben is in the Marines and he gets injured. That’s when everything changes.

Cam loves to skateboard with his friend Mike, but with news of his brother, Cam doesn’t know what to think. Cam loves Ben and you can easily tell. He’s worried about him, con
Kay Mcgriff
Oct 20, 2011 Kay Mcgriff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cam O’Mara comes from a long line of bull riders: older brother, father, grandfather. But he took a good look at the bucking bulls and decided he’d rather get his thrills from perfecting his skateboard tricks. Then his older brother Ben comes home from Iraq after running into an improvised explosive device. Ben is missing part of his arm and struggling with traumatic brain injury. Cam is shocked by the changes in the older brother he always looked up to. Now Cam is looking for a way to bring bac ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Apr 08, 2009 Jennifer Wardrip rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

BULL RIDER by Class of 2K9 author Suzanne Morgan Williams offers a unique combination of topics - rodeo bull riding and the Iraq War.

Young Cam O'Mara comes from a ranching, bull riding family, but his interest leans more toward skateboarding. Bull riding has never really held any attraction for him, at least until now.

The O'Mara family gets the dreaded news that their oldest son, Ben, has been wounded while fighting in Iraq - and li
This is another of the Missouri Truman Award Nominees from the 2011-12 school year. The story is told from the point of view of Cam. Cam's brother, Ben, has just returned from the war in Iraq, and he is suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and has lost part of his arm. Ben was once a great bull rider. Now he is just an injured soldier who is nothing like his formal self. Cam struggles with many parts of Ben's return.

I liked the way the author brought up the topic of TBI. This is one of
May 02, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
4.5 Stars

Cam O'Mara's family has a history of bull riding, but he thinks you would have to be crazy to get on one of those animals and prefers to stay on his skate board. But when his brother, Ben, returns home from Iraq, injured from an IED, Cam would do anything for him. Even if it means getting on the one bull no one has riden and fifteen thousand dollars being offered to the first one who can stay on for a full 8 seconds.

When I saw the cover, I was intreged. When I heard what it was about,
Heather Crozier
Apr 27, 2010 Heather Crozier rated it liked it
I put this book on the bottom of my to-read pile thinking I had no interest in a book about bull riding, and it turned out to be a tear jerker...

Bull Rider is the story of Cam O’Mara, a 14 year old boy with a passion for skateboarding. Cam’s older brother, Ben, a former champion bull rider, is injured in Iraq and comes home with Traumatic Brain Injury, along with other severe injuries. In an attempt to cheer up Ben, Cam rides his first bull and discovers that he loves it. Mrs. O’Mara forbids him
Feb 08, 2013 Megan rated it really liked it
I did wonder, initially, how I was going to connect with this book - not knowing anything about Bull Riding, or caring much about Skate Boarding, and not coming from Nevada, or even the United States. However, I do know 14 year old boys, and however much they try to hide it with grunts and bad haircuts, there are sensitive hearts and undeveloped amygdalas making their lives very confusing and difficult to navigate. Especially when other family stuff is going on - and other stuff is often going o ...more
Dec 11, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
The bull rider is an amazing book that tells a lot about change through situations and how can the main character of the book shows his own personality in what he does. From the start of the book you can tell cam is a character of his own , he doesn't wanna be like the rest of his family not because he hates the family business ( bull riding ) but because he wants to be his own person. Through the story the author makes it clear of what environment can and his family are in and kind of pits us a ...more
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Suzanne Morgan Williams is author of Bull Rider, a new novel for kids aged 10 and up, and many non-fiction books for children. Bull Rider is a Junior Library Guild Selection and represented Nevada at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. It is the story of a 14 year old Nevada ranch kid who, when his champion bull rider brother comes home from the war in Iraq with life changing injuries, t ...more
More about Suzanne Morgan Williams...

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