The Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge

() Basically, the story is about a 5’4” 16-year-old who travels to Arizona for the summer to gain work experience in the field he’s interested in: being a veterinarian. The teen stays at his gay uncle’s house and is introduced to the gay community and AIDs awareness. The work he’s expected to do in Arizona doesn’t exactly fit his expectations, as he finds himself cleaning horse stalls. However, this leads to finding the first love of his life. The main character loses his virginity and gains confidence and masculinity. He starts out the novel as a pale, blushing teen who is shy about his height – but he ends up with a dark tan and a sureness about the world, what he wants, and where to go next. It’s an alright read, especially if you’re interested in horse racing or the cowboy-ish lifestyle.

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