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Children's Fiction Multigenerational

Sam's Ride

by (author) Becky Citra

illustrated by Amy Meissner

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Nov 2009
Multigenerational, General, Farm & Ranch Life
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


Sam, a seven-year-old boy, is devastated when his mother leaves him for two weeks on his grandfather's ranch. Grandpa has a lot of rules, and Sam isn't happy about having to stay with him. But Sam's time on the ranch isn't all bad. He learns to ride a horse and also discovers some surprising things about his father, who died when Sam was a baby. When Sam is forced to overcome his fear of riding in order to help rescue Grandpa, Sam grows to appreciate both his grandpa and life on the ranch.

About the authors

Becky Citra is the author of over twenty books for children, ranging from early chapter books to novels for young adults. She was an elementary schoolteacher for over twenty-five years and began writing for children in 1995. Becky’s books have been shortlisted for and won many awards, including the Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow, the Silver Birch and the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. She lives in Bridge Lake, British Columbia. For more information, visit

Becky Citra's profile page

Amy Meissner currently lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska. Her two, bad orange cats keep her company in the studio all day long where she paints, draws, writes, cuts fabric and moves cats off the things they aren't supposed to sleep on. Creating art for children's books is Amy's favorite job, but she also illustrates for posters and articles. She recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing and has undergraduate degrees in both Art and Textiles.


Amy Meissner's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books starred selection
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year

Excerpt: Sam's Ride (by (author) Becky Citra; illustrated by Amy Meissner)

Bolt burst into a trot. Sam's heart jumped down his throat. Up and down, up and down, he bounced in the saddle. His feet flew out of the stirrups. The fence and then barn and Grandpa flashed by. "Whoa!" yelled Sam. "Whoa!" Grandpa stepped in front of Bolt. He grabbed the reins and pulled Bolt to a stop. Sam took a huge breath. "I'm getting off!" he said. He slid off the horse. It was a long way to the ground. His legs wobbled. He thought Grandpa would be disgusted with him. But Grandpa looked pleased. "Not bad for your first time," he said.

Editorial Reviews

"Filled with chapter headings, sketches, and a simple storyline. A great addition for an emerging reader!"

Tacoma School District #10

Librarian Reviews

Sam’s Ride

Sam is not a happy seven-year old. His mother has left him for two whole weeks with a gruff grandfather he barely knows and a terrifying horse of his own. This seems like an eternity to spend at the ranch where his father, who died when Sam was a baby, spent his childhood. Things don’t always go smoothly as Sam gets to know his grandfather and learns to ride. Sam wears his father’s old boots and cowboy hat, rides the range and meets the neighbours. Sam struggles to overcome his fears and begins to appreciate life on the ranch. By the end, he finds the courage to respond in an emergency, helping his injured grandfather. Meissner’s black and white drawings punctuate each chapter.

Citra is the author of over a dozen books for children. A brief teacher’s guide for Sam’s Ride can be downloaded from

Caution: This story references the death of a parent.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2010-2011.

Sam’s Ride (Orca Echoes)

Sam, a seven-year-old boy, is devastated when his mother leaves him for two weeks on his grandfather’s ranch. When Sam is forced to overcome his fear of riding in order to help rescue Grandpa, he learns a lot about himself and forms a special bond with his grandpa.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

Other titles by Becky Citra

Other titles by Amy Meissner