by Andrew Avner
Black Rose Writing
Middle Grade Fiction
Alicía Catalina Cortés is a fast and fiery Spanish cow who desperately wants to run with the bulls in Pamplona. But since she's a cow, tradition forbids her to partake in the fiesta of San Fermín. Through her journey, Alicía learns that to be noble and brave, she must follow her dream and her heart, even if it means defying tradition.
Toro is set in the colorful backdrop of Pamplona, Spain during the fiesta of San Fermín and the running of the bulls, famed as one of the most exhilarating, dangerous, and spectacular events around the world.
TORO is also available as audio book!!!
Dreams mix with the fantastic atmosphere of Pamplona and the bull run in this exciting adventure with unexpected and yet, inspiring characters, who won't easily be forgotten.
Alicía Catalina Cortés is a cow with a very unique dream; she wants to run with the bulls. Unfortunately, as a cow, it's impossible. Still, Alicia refuses to give up and is sure she'll find a way. Across the pastures, the bull Diego harbors a dream of his own. He wants nothing more than to join the rodeo in the U.S. Both are willing to do anything to achieve their dreams, but both have no clue how they ever can. But things might change, when the two finally meet and devise a plan.
I'm not usually a huge fan of animal stories, but this one had me stuck in the pages until the very end. While the first chapter starts with a scene of an older bull telling a tale to calves, the book soon spins over to Spain and a very determined cow. Alicia is a character to root for. She desires to be more than what others tell her she has to be, and this is something young readers will easily identify with. It's clear right away how impossible her dream is, and yet, it's hard not to hope she finds a way to accomplish it. The plot holds quite a few unexpected moments, and each one has the reader hoping things will turn out all right in the end. It keeps the tension high and the outcome surprising.
It was a treat to visit Pamplona, the bull run, and learn about the bull fights...something not often seen in middle grade literature. The author manages to add information and bits of culture into the tale without ever breaking the atmosphere surrounding the life of the animals. Because the animals and their stories are inspiring. Not only is this one about dreams coming true, but also hits upon friendship, trust, lying and even family. And all of this goodness packs in at less than 150 pages, making it something that even reluctant readers won't mind picking up.
In other words, this one gets two thumbs up from me.
And here he is...
Andrew Avner graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television. After working in Manhattan with Academy Award-winning producer David Brown, Avner relocated to Los Angeles to develop his own original material. He’s currently writing and producing short films for The Walt Disney Company while penning his next novel.