Get a free e-book of Riding the Devil along with the Mock Trial of the protagonist. The trial can be done partway through the book. It raises student engagement.
José’s story is set in the rich setting of a Southern California Rancho while California was still part of a newly independent Mexico. Eleven-year-old José dreams of being a vaquero, a cowboy. However, he must first conquer his fears by facing the injustices of his era, animal cruelty, wild animals and the vindictive young vaquero, Chaco.
José’s adventure begins when Patas Locas, a horse with a strong and wild spirit, comes to the Rancho and seems to be “unbreakable” and can't be tamed. The arrogant Chaco, a young vaquero, is repeatedly thrown from Patas Locas.