The True West: Real Stories About Black Cowboys, Women Sharpshooters, Native American Rodeo Stars, Pioneering Vaqueros,
The True West: Real Stories About Black Cowboys, Women Sharpshooters, Native American Rodeo Stars, Pioneering Vaqueros,
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Annotation: Historians estimate that 1 in 4 cowboys were actually black, latino, or Native American-or even women! Saddle up for a tour of the Wild West with some of history's most unsung heroes and discover how the Western story is really everyone's story.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #218963
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: c2020
Pages: 64 p.
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-7336-3351-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-7336-3351-2
Dewey: 920
LCCN: 2019956092
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In this useful, informative book, more than two dozen men and women from a range of racial, cultural, and geographic backgrounds are recognized for their roles in the construction of American society during westward expansion. Overall, the book does a serviceable job of sustaining the reader's awareness of the devastation of settler colonialism. Each spread includes a detailed account of individuals or groups often left out of conventional history books for children. Sidebars include interesting facts, quotes, and primary-source matter, such as maps or photos. Readers will learn that there were African American lawmen (Bass Reeves), Native American cowboys (Jackson Sundown), women daredevils who performed at rodeos (Mamie Hafley) or disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War (Cathay Williams), and more. While racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism are among a few of the social ills that the book exposes, colorful illustrations balance the textbook tone. A strong addition to social studies and literacy curricula.
Kirkus Reviews
Women and men on horseback fought, explored, performed in rodeos, enforced laws, and helped to shape the American West.In his author’s note, Lowe states that he intends to celebrate “a shared history of the American West,” which was “a melting pot every bit as much as the cities of the East Coast.” In spite of their suffering, and dealing with “unbelievable conditions and national scorn,” Native Americans, African Americans, Chinese Americans, and Latinx people “helped create the country that we live in today.” What follows are capsule entries on cowboys and cowgirls from the previously mentioned backgrounds. Each is accompanied by a colorful, full-page portrait of the person, often with a big smile. Also included are pages on dress, Chinese railroad workers, and buffalo soldiers. The entry for Levi Strauss does not mention his Judaism, but it is followed by a two-page spread on Jews. The information on the Chinese railroad workers states that they “were genuine heroes who helped make this country a better place to live,” but this statement lacks information on and sensitivity to Indigenous peoples, and there is no mention of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Also, the article on rodeo star Fox Hastings tells readers that she was not only a “true beauty,” but also a “genuine daredevil”—leaving them to ponder if the two are otherwise mutually exclusive.A history that excels at admiration but fails at overall accuracy. (further reading) (Nonfiction. 9-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 46 Ever heard of Bass Reeves, Mamie Francis Hafley, Fox Hastings, or Henry O. Flipper? These names may not be as familiar as others spotlighted in this book (Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok), but Lowe's intention, as indicated in the book's lengthy subtitle, is to showcase diverse historical figures "from every race, gender, and ethnicity" who contributed to the development of the West. Eighteen fascinating individuals are each portrayed in a two-page spread that includes biographical information, a somewhat stylized portrait, a photograph of the person (if available), and related facts. Readers learn that Flipper was the first African American to graduate from West Point in 1877 and that Hastings ran away from a convent when she was 16 and became a famous rodeo star. Hafley was known for the incredible daredevil tricks she did while riding her horse; Bass Reeves was a pragmatic Black lawman who captured and arrested more than 3,000 criminals. Other pages provide information about collective groups and topics, such as the Buffalo Soldiers, the Chinese railroad workers, wagon trains, and traditions started by Mexican cowboys, all of which are more broadly addressed. However, pertinent historical events such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 are not addressed. Additional resources and extensive art and photo credits are included. The colorful, attractive layout is not too busy, and the artwork is vibrant. VERDICT A mixed bag of interesting, underrepresented historical figures and facts about the establishment of the American West. A good starting point for students curious about early Western frontier life. Maggie Chase, Boise State Univ., ID
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (6/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (6/1/20)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 60-61).
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7

Did you know that the Lone Ranger was likely inspired by a black cowboy? Or that some of the most famous sharpshooters in the West were women? Or how a Native American rodeo star could ride even a buffalo? These are no tall tales In fact, historians estimate that 1 in 4 cowboys were actually black, latino, or Native American--or even women So saddle up for a tour of the Wild West with some of history's most unsung heroes and discover how the great Western story is really everyone's story.

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