The Last of the
Roundup Boys

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When Tom's family finds itself struggling at the start of another harsh winter on the Kansas prairie, Tom has no choice but to take up a cowhand position at the Parsons ranch.  The cowboy life isn't easy, but Tom's family needs the money and he craves the freedom it promises.

Evie Parsons has always been a rancher at heart, even though ranching is considered man's work.  She's planning to have her own land and herd so she'll be able to choose her own path, even if it's one her parents don't support.

Narrated in interchanging voices, this sequel to Debra Seely's critically hailed first novel, Grasslands, tells the exciting story of Tom's and Evie's struggles for love and freedom on the open frontier.

The story begins four years after Grasslands. After a fight with his father and stepmother, Tom leaves home to work for the Parsons ranch. He falls in love with Evie Parsons. Raised with a great deal of freedom on the ranch, Evie has become worried at how her choices have narrowed as sheís grown up: she can marry a rancherís son or teach school. But she canít help but have feelings for Tom. A terrible January blizzard wipes out a good part of the cattle herds in the country, and the ranch organizes an early roundup to see what the losses are. Evie, worried about her own cattle, determines to go on the roundup, despite her familyís objection that girls donít go on roundups. Along the way, both Tom and Evie learn more about what itís like to be a boy or girl in those times.

This story is based in part on the story of my great-grandparents, but itís mostly made up. My great-great grandfather really was a Kansas cattle rancher, though, and he lived in a beautiful big house like the one in the story. Itís still standing today.


The Last of the
Roundup Boys

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ďMy head jerked up-- I'd fallen asleep.  I was choking--the air hole had blown shut.  My lungs ached.  I raised my arm, then realized I didn't know want was up or down.  I started to tremble and couldn't stop myself.  It was pitch dark.  I struggled to rise, but my feet were numb.  I flailed my arms until I hit snow and broke through, and the force of the cold air hit me like a shock.Ē 


copyright © 2003-2004 Debra Seely

Jacket art for Grasslands copyright © 2002 by James E. Ransome
Jacket art for The Last of the Roundup Boys copyright © 2004 Greg Spalenka
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