Rummanah Aasi
  I continue to discover new important figures of history as I read the Bluestem Awards. I never heard of Bass Reeves, the first African American Deputy U.S. Marshall before. His story from being a born slave to a deputy marshall is fascinating. Bass Reeves is truly an unsung hero.

Description: An illustrated biography of Bass Reeves, a former slave who was recruited as a deputy United States marshal, based on his ability to communicate with the Native Americans in what is now known as the state of Oklahoma.

Review: Bad News for Outlaws reads like a western. It opens with a showdown as readers first see outlaw Jim Webb bursting through a glass window and the lawman known as Bass Reeves looking down the barrel of his Winchester rifle. These opening pages will no doubt catch young reader's attention and the catchy narrative would make this a really fun read aloud. Bass Reeves was born a slave, but he became one of the most feared and respected Deputy U.S. Marshals to tame the West. Reeves was honorable and upheld the law, even arresting his own son when he committed a crime. Though including his background and chronological history, Bad News for Outlaws never reads like a dry textbook. The illustrations are colorful and reflect the narrative. At the end of the book, a timeline, glossary of words spoken in the Old West, recommended reading list, author notes, and a detailed bibliography are included at the end of the book. Bad News for Outlaws gives praise and appreciation to a much unknown hero.


Rating: 4 stars

Curriculum Connection: Social Studies

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 3-5.

If you like this book try: The Legend of Bass Reeves by Gary Paulsen
3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I have to say I haven't heard of him either, but I'm going to go google him now:) I always learn something new coming to your blog Rummmanah, love it!


  2. Chelle Says:

    I loved, loved, loved this book! It's one I plan to buy even though I checked it out from the library. You can read my review here: http://www.theprairielibrary.com/2011/02/review-bad-news-for-outlaws-by-vaunda.html

    I'm glad you enjoyed Bad News, too!


  3. Jenny: Thanks, I always learn new books and authors from your blog too. :)

    Chelle: It's such a fun book. I may have to see if I get my hands on the Gary Paulsen book.


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