This unique story centers around Alicía. Her brown eyes widen whenever there is talk of Pamplona, Spain—a place she longs to visit during the yearly Festival of the Bull. Alicía doesn’t just want to attend but also participate in the running of the bulls. You see, Alicía is a cow.

Her proud bull of a father says this is impossible as cows aren’t allowed in the race and he has already promised her to another bull, one she detests. Alicía devises another plan to break tradition and fulfill her dream. Doing so will hurt those she loves and in the end it could be her own life she loses.

The third person narration and mostly short chapters keep the story moving along at a steady pace. Other characters include her bull brothers, a lynx, Jesús the hog, and Diego— another bull who longs to be in the rodeo. There is also a foursome of comical Texan cowboys on vacation in Spain.

The story would make a great read-aloud, including discussion about stereotypes of what certain people are supposed to do and not do. Overall, a very appealing plot that should garner a lot of readers, especially with its short length.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: September 17, 2020 PAGE COUNT: 142


  1. It’s difficult to make a believable story with talking animals, but each of the voices shine here making for an enjoyable journey.
  2. Life is full of rejection. Success is often not achievable unless you have the inner motivation. Readers will appreciate the connection.
  3. Intended for middle grade, adults might also enjoy the story. The themes will touch each person a different way depending on their age.
  4. I’ve seen this festival in Pamplona on TV but never understood its significance. I’ve been fulfilled after reading TORO.
  5. I’d love to see this produced as a full featured cartoon, Disney style.


Andrew Avner graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television. After working in Manhattan with Academy Award-winning producer David Brown, Avner relocated to Los Angeles to develop his own original material. He’s currently writing and producing short films for The Walt Disney Company while penning his next novel. He lives in West Hollywood, California.

(The above is from Andrew’s author web site. Be sure to visit and enjoy a unique feature of having audio recordings of the first four chapters. The production is excellent. Links for ordering the book are also included.


I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Feel free to leave a comment below!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, New Release and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to TORO

  1. Diane T says:

    This sounds so unique with many parallels to the human world. I’ll be looking into getting a copy for my kids ( and myself).

  2. Hmmmm. A cow who wants to run with the bulls. And they say there are no new stories, just the same ones told over and over in different ways. This sounds pretty darned unique to me. Thanks for the review.

  3. What a humorous and unusual story! And, a great way to introduce readers to the running of the bulls. This does sound like a good classroom read. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    What a totally cool story! I never thought I’d see arranged marriage being tackled from the perspective of a cow, but it works! I actually had a relative who ran with the bulls once, so this would be interesting to learn about. Thanks for sharing this fascinating book!

  5. Natalie Aguirre says:

    Sounds like a unique story that will appeal to adults too. Thanks for sharing it this week.

  6. Wow! This sounds interesting. Talking animals can be hit and miss with me, but your review has piqued my interest for sure.

  7. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    This sounds incredibly refreshing and fun. Another book to add to the pile.

  8. Pingback: The 2020 GOLDEN CUP AWARDS | Always in the Middle…

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