Bad News For Outlaws

  • Title: Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves Deputy U.S. Marshal
  • Author: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
  • Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication year: 2009
  • Brief Summary: From Amazon-“Read about the fascinating life of Bass Reeves, who escaped slavery to become the first African American Deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I found this great curriculum guide from a Sarah E. Montgomery, a assistant professor in Elementary Education at the University of Northern Iowa. This guide suggests teaching students through this book, how to think critically about the stereotypes existent in the Old West. Students would draw what they think the Old West looked like and then invite students to think about what is missing from their drawings and to consider what stereotypes may be present in this representation. This could be used for older children as well.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – Much like the last book I just read, Locomotive, this book includes sources and references from Nelson. Nelson also includes a list of Western Words, a timeline of the events of Bass Reeves life, more on Judge Isaac C. Parker, and the Indian Territory. There is a wealth of information in this book on the little known figure of Bass Reeves (including a further reading section). I think this book will definitely go in my Best 50 list because I really believe it’s important for children to know about this true historical Old West figure.

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