Kings of Colorado by David E Hilton, is a tough book about Will Sheppard, a 13 year old who is sent to a reformatory ranch after stabbing his very abusive father. While doing their time, the youth at the ranch tame wild horses by breaking them and the ranch staff tries to tame the boys by breaking them too -- sometimes in very horrible ways.
The story is narrated by the 62 year old Will, who has lost his wife and his job. When an event makes all his memories of that time in Colorado come flooding back, he decides to write down his story and try to make some sense out of that time in his life
There is violence in this book -- more violence than I usually tolerate. Fortunately, this is a story not just of loss and pain, but of real friendship and the humanity that can be found even in harsh places.