12 Reads Inspired by the National Western Stock Show

Wild West shows, livestock exhibitions, rodeo extravaganzas, and mutton bustin’.

It’s time for the National Western Stock Show!

The National Western Stock Show has a rich history in Colorado dating back to the first Stock Show in 1906. The show started as a livestock show in the historic “yards” and has evolved into “a 16-day event featuring rodeos, horse shows, Colorado’s largest Western trade show, and the most prominent livestock show in the country.”

We have the Wild West in our hearts this week as the 114th National Western Stock Show kicks off. To get you excited too, here are few Stock Show-inspired reads from 4-H to cowgirls to rodeo romance.

A Cowboy of Her Own by Marin Thomas
Romance lovers! Fun-loving rodeo cowboy Porter Cash has always been more interested in having a good time than a steady paycheck. But to realize his dream of owning his own ranch, Porter needs this new job delivering roughstock to rodeos. What he doesn’t need is a too-serious, too-smart and too-sexy-for-her-own-good copilot on the trip.

Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West by David Wolman and Julian Smith
Traces the role of three Hawaiian cowboys who became champions at the 1908 Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo, detailing how their careers influenced post-annexation Hawaiian identity, island ranching, and the rodeo culture of Cheyenne.

Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett (Children’s Picture Book)
A rodeo is no place for an armadillo, but that is where Bo, the adventure-seeking, near-sighted armadillo, ends up, with hilarious results, as he is thrown off a bucking bronco, tastes red-hot chili peppers, and does the two-step with newfound friends.

Black Cowboys in the American West: On the Range, On the Stage, Behind the Badge ed. by Bruce Glasrud
Black cowhands remain an integral part of life in the West, the descendants of African Americans who ventured west and helped settle and establish black communities. This long-overdue examination of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black cowboys ensures that they, and their many stories and experiences, will continue to be known and told.

Chasing the Rodeo: On Wild Rides and Big Dreams, Broken Hearts and Broken Bones, and One Man’s Search for the West by W.K. Stratton
Traces the author’s tour of the rodeo scene, sharing his discoveries about roundup history, culture, and events, in an account that covers such topics as the Cowboy Church, rodeo codes of honor, and his runaway “rodeo bum” father.

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca (Children’s Picture Book)
When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe!

Intro to Rodeo by Molly Lauryssens (Children’s)
Explore everything a young horse lover would want to know about rodeos, from the history to the skills required.

Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future ed. by Martha Hodgkins
Essays and letters on farming life and issues about how food is produced and consumed. The writers were asked what they would say to young beginning farmers, and they discuss topics like feeding people, fostering community, sustaining livelihoods, restoring soil, sequestering carbon, protecting natural systems, and more.

Prepper’s Livestock Handbook: Lifesaving Strategies and Sustainable Methods for Keeping Chickens, Rabbits, Goats, Cows, and other Farm Animals by Leigh Tate
Whether you’re looking for a farm-to-table solution that provides fresh meat and dairy products today, or a long-term plan that will feed you and your family after the collapse of civilization—or both!— this all-in-one preparedness guide is for you. It teaches sustainable animal husbandry skills that allow you to build and operate your own small-scale ranch anywhere from a backyard to a bug-out bunker.

Raise: What 4-H Teaches Seven Million Kids and How Its Lessons Could Change Food and Farming Forever by Kiera Butler
An award-winning, city-dwelling writer and editor for Mother Jones magazine describes her experiences getting to know teenagers who participate in the 4-H Club, describing their lives and concerns and also the history of the 100-year-old organization.

Temple Grandin’s Guide to Working with Farm Animals by Temple Grandin
Revered animal behavior expert Temple Grandin offers small-scale farmers of all levels her unique insights into cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats, along with practical guidance on how to safely and humanely move, handle, and restrain livestock.

Wild Women and Tricky Ladies: Rodeo Cowgirls, Trick Riders, and Other Performing Women Who Made the West Wilder by Jill Charlotte Stanford
Celebrate the female trick riders and other performers who have been a part of rodeos, Wild West shows, and fairs since the 1800s.

Check out these and many others books when you visit the Library!

Enjoy the Stock Show!