Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review: Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

This book was awesome! Gun fights, chases, escapes! Indians, cowboys and slaves. Hardship, justice and honor. It’s the Wild West folks and this is the true story of a slave who became a U.S. deputy Marshal. His name is Reeves. Bass Reeves. And he is Bad News for Outlaws!

This is nonfiction done right. I loved the art work (looks like oil paintings) and the story was fascinating. Both totally captured the spirit of the old West. Many of the text blocks look like they are printed on yellowed paper. The font looks Western, too, big and bold. R. Gregory Christie’s illustrations capture the emotion of each moment being described. Bass’ gaze is piercing. There’s no messing with that man. 

This is well researched book and it shows. There are many amazing anecdotes pieced together from historical records. There are extra resources in the back including a glossary of Western terms used in the book, a timeline, a further reading list and much more.

I was completely captivated with Bass’ story. Although it’s aimed at 2nd-5th grade readers, if you know anyone who enjoys all things Western I urge you to put this book in their hands. This title counts towards the POC Reading Challenge! Well, this was a hard review to write. I just wanted to use the word "awesome" over and over! 

Publisher: Carolrhoda, 2009     Pages: 40     Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
Full Title: Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Rating: 5 Stars     Source: IC Public Library


  1. Looks like a wonderful read. Off to the library to see if they've got it...

  2. Oh, I hope they do and I hope you like it as much as I did!