Suzanne Morgan Williams is pleased, no thrilled, to announce her first novel, Bull Rider, 2009, Margaret K. McElderry Books (an imprint of Simon and Schuster) is now available. Bull Rider is an upper middle grade novel (ages ten to fourteen) about how one boy and his family deal with the loss and grief brought on by war. Fourteen year old Cam O’Mara is a ranch kid from the sage brush country of central Nevada. He is a skateboarder, not a champion bull rider like his brother Ben, but when Ben joins the Marines and is seriously injured in Iraq, Cam turns to his family traditions and in particular bull riding to overcome his grief and to give his brother hope for a new life.

Click to Order Bull Rider
A Junior Library Guild Selection, 2009

A Texas Lonestar and Tayshas List Selection, 2010

Winner of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Juvenile Book of 2009

(Click here to see Suzanne receiving this award)

Chosen for:
Nevada Young Readers Award list
for 2011 in the intermediate category

Finalist for the Missouri Association of School Librarian's Truman Award, 2011-2012

The Indiana Library Federation's Young Hoosier Book Award list for 2011-2012.

Nominated for:
Wyoming Library Association's
Indian Paintbrush Award, 2012 - 2013

This first novel makes the sports details of skateboarding and bull-riding part of the powerful contemporary story of family, community, and work – Booklist

The book isn’t overtly anti- or pro-war so much as pro the people who are struggling with this difficult change in their lives. This is therefore a gripping read for fans of family dramas, and it’s certainly high time that this aspect of the war’s consequences received a sensitive and compelling exploration. - The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Bull Rider, vividly captures life on a modern Nevada ranch. . . .(it) is the story of real people, in real situations, that will ring true even if readers have never seen a salt lick, a chute, or the open range. - Ellen Fockler, library coordinator, Washoe County School District, Reno, NV

Suzanne Morgan Williams’ spare, straightforward prose lets the O’Maras speak their piece on war and sacrifice, family loyalty and courage, and reveals what it means to live in the heart of the modern West. – Terri Farley, author of the Phantom Stallion series


Although Bull Rider is fiction, the story of supporting an injured soldier in the family is one that is replayed many times across our nation. Writing Bull Rider was a both joy, and an emotional journey for me. I am so pleased to have met the bull riders, ranchers, veterans’ advocates and medical staff who work with our returning vets. I hope the O’Mara’s story will touch you – as writing it has touched me. Suzanne Morgan Williams' Bull Rider is available at Simon & SchusterOpen in New Window or AmazonOpen in New Window or from your local bookseller – use ISBN-10: 1-4169-6130-5 or ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-6130-7; for paperback use ISBN 10:1442412526.