Sunday, February 7, 2010

Welcome Nonfiction Monday! Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal

Are you looking for a book that will grab readers, especially boys who love to read real life stories?  Bad News for Outlaws starts with a bang and carries readers right through to the end, exploring the life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal.  I was drawn in by the striking illustrations, and fascinated by Reeves' life and courage.  This book is perfect for readers in 3rd through 5th grades, but would probably interest younger guys, too.
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson,
illustrations by R. Gregory Christie
MN: Carolrhoda, 2009.
ages 8-12
Bass Reeve was a large man, a presence in the Wild West as he enforced justice across the land. This story starts with a bang - quite literally - as readers see outlaw Jim Webb bursting through a glass window.  Reeves prefers to take his prisoners alive, but when Webb starts shooting at him, the lawman handles the situation.  Reeves was born a slave, but escaped to Indian Territory (now known as Oklahoma) as a young man.  As a deputy U.S. marshal with a clear sense of purpose and justice, Reeves captured over three thousand men and women.  Christie’s strong, dramatic illustrations engage readers and convey Reeve’s strength and courage.

This is really a book worth taking a look at.  Here's a sample from Google Books (scrolll through the pages - the interior art is amazing and worth seeing!):

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is the winner of the 2010 Coretta Scott King Author Award. Find out more about her in an interview with The Brown Bookshelf in last year's 28 Days Later: A Black History Month Celebration of Children's Literature.  I'll finish with this quote from Ms. Nelson:
“I hope to give children some of what my parents gave me – the opportunity to grow, to be made stronger, through story.”  
You can find  Bad News for Outlaws at your local library using  It's also available at bookstores near you and online at Amazon.  If you make a purchase on Amazon through the links on this site, a small commission will go toward Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support!

Fellow bloggers, I'd like to urge you to include links to WorldCat with your book reviews.  We all know that we can't buy every book we're interested in.  WorldCat allows readers to find books at a library near them.  Try it out - it's easy and useful!

Welcome to Nonfiction Monday.  I'm happy to host this weekly feature of the kidlitosphere.  Please leave a note in the comments and I'll share links throughout the day.  Please remember to leave the link to your specific post.

Great books to check out:

At Simply Science, Shirley has a thoughtful, timely review of Leveled by an Earthquake! by Adam Reingold. "Beichuan, China, was wiped off the landscape during the great Sichuan earthquake of 2008... Introduced from the point of view from a 16 year old girl who survived the collapsed school, the book explains earthquakes from a personal experience to the physical aspects of how a quake happens."

At In Need of  Chocolate, Sarah has a post about Dinosaurs Big and Small, part of the award-winning Let's Read and Find Out series.

Here's a great new book coming in March, Sarah Campbell's Growing Patterns.  Head over to Jennifer's blog at the Jean Little Library to find out more.

At A Patchwork of Books, Amanda reviews two books: D is for Drinking Gourd and Pappy's Handkerchief, both of which she is also giving away.  Pappy's Handkerchief looks like a great book to pair with Bad News for Outlaws, exploring the settlement of the West.

With the Olympic opening ceremony coming up this weekend, children will be interested in flags from other countries.  Check It Out recommends Flags of the World by Sylvie Bednar.

Great minds think alike!  Abby (the) Librarian also has a review of Bad News for Outlaws.  As she says, this book "combines kid appeal with literary merit".

Over at Mama Librarian, there's a look at cheese: Extra Cheese, Please!, an "excellent nonfiction book on how milk is made into mozzarella cheese."

At Bookish Blather, Angela reviews IraqiGirl, a compendium of the blog kept by a girl called Hadiya (a pseudonym) from mid-2004 through the end of 2007.

Lori Calabrase takes a look at Little Black Ant on Park Street, "a beautifully written story that weaves in plenty of facts about the little black ant."

Sally at Whispers of Dawn posted about an early reader, Alexander Graham Bell.

Jeannine Atkins posted about research, books, and the Web. It includes a preview of an interesting Frontline show about the Digital Nation.  I'm looking forward to checking it out.

Shelf-employed shares her post about a visit to her library by the illustrator of Bad News for Outlaws, R. Gregory Christie. "He spoke to a group of 5th grade students about art, history, technique, research, publishing, and inspiration." It sounds like a fantastic visit - I'm looking forward to checking out more of his artwork.

Paula at PinkMe! shares her thoughts about Lives of the Great Artists. I agree, Paula, that the title could have easily clarified the focus of the book, on European artists. It is certainly time to acknowledge a book's Euro-centric viewpoint. 

Becky has another great review about Bad News for Outlaws at Young Readers.  Hooray for the Coretta Scott King awards for shining the light on a great book! As Becky says, "Wow, wow, wow!"

Are you snowed in on the East Coast?  You'll be fascinated by Becky's review of Blizzard! The Storm That Changed America, by Jim Murphy.  Head over to Becky's Book Reviews to read all about it. 

At LibrariYan, Alicia reviews Pamela S. Turner's Prowling the Seas: Exploring the Hidden World of Ocean Predators.

The Wild About Writing trio has a review of the picture-book biography Darwin, by  Alice McGinty.  "Paired with notes from Darwin’s own journal, McGinty’s text takes readers into the heart and mind of Charles Darwin." Sound fascinating!

At Lost Between the Pages, Anna has posted about The Raucous Royals, by Carlyn Beccia. "It's hijinxs and shenanigans vivaciously illustrated using amazing colors and stylized so you need to keep turning the pages until you are done."

Camille has reviewed a nonfiction series book, Hairy Tarantulas by Kathryn Camisa, over at BookMoot. "The format of the book is very well designed and well laid out for young readers." Format seems especially important with nonfiction books - thanks for the great review!

Jennie at BiblioFile reviews two Cybils nominees: The Other Side: A Teen's Guide to Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal and Witches and Wizards. Both seem very creepy, but likely to capture a kid's attention.

Brenda at proseandkahn read Heroes of the Environment, and shares her thought on it. Brenda writes, "I cannot imagine anyone who would be able to read this collective biography and not be inspired to do more to live in an environmentally friendly way. Twelve short biographies highlight geographically and culturally diverse individuals who thought globally and acted locally."

If you're hankering for more snow, head over to Wendie's Wanderings. After taking two and a half days to shovel out to the street, you'll never guess what book Wendie is reviewing: The Coldest Places on Earth.


  1. Thanks for hosting this week! I've got a post about Dinosaurs Big and Small:

  2. I've got a preview of a great new book coming in March, Sarah Campbell's Growing Patterns

  3. Reviewed Outlaws two weeks ago. Fun book. Here is mine:
    Thanks for hosting us.

  4. Excellent review! I've got one on cheese: Extra Cheese, Please! over at Mama Librarian: Thanks much for hosting this week.

  5. Hahaha, I've *also* got a review of Bad News for Outlaws up at Abby (the) Librarian -

    Thanks for hosting this week!

  6. We have a review of Darwin by Alice Mcginty. We also interviewed Alice for this post.

    Thanks for hosting this week!

  7. Thanks so much for hosting! It's been awhile since I've done Nonfiction Monday, but I'm back this week with a review of IraqiGirl

  8. Hi Mary Ann,

    I can't wait to check out Outlaws--looks great!

    This week, I review Little Black Ant on Park Street by Janet Halfmann.


  9. Hey! Bad News for Outlaws looks like a great book. Thanks for sharing about it. I'm not surprised other bloggers were taken with it too. It sounds wonderful.

    I'll also check out the World Cat link as soon as I have time. Thanks for telling me about it.

    I was much tamer than you were, this week. No outlaws or barroom brawls in my book.

    Sally at Whispers of Dawn posted about an early reader on Alexander Graham Bell.

    Thanks for hosting!

  10. I have reviews up of two books, D is for Drinking Gourd and Pappy's Handkerchief (both of which I'm also giving away).

    Thanks for hosting!

    A Patchwork of Books

  11. Mary Ann, Thank you for the great review and for hosting. I posted about Research, Books, and the Web at

  12. In November, my library hosted the illustrator of Bad News for Outlaws, R. Gregory Christie. He spoke to several 5th grade classes and among other things, he explained his research process for accurately portraying Bass Reeves in this book. He was a bit hit with the kids - very interesting and personable. If you ever have money for an illustrator visit in your budget, he's wonderful!

    And Mary Ann, your World Cat idea is a great one! Thanks for hosting today.

  13. Hi Mary Ann! Pink Me is ticked off about the underrepresentation of non-white artists in today's review of Lives of the Great Artists by Charlie Ayres:


  14. I've also got a review of Bad News for Outlaws up at Young Readers. And at Becky's Book Reviews, I've got Blizzard by Jim Murphy.

  15. I've ordered a copy of Bad New for Outlaws for my school library, and am looking forward to its arrival!

    In the meantime, I've posted today about Pamela S. Turner's Prowling the Seas over at:

  16. Hi! Today I posted about "The Raucous Royals" by Carlyn Beccia.

    Thanks for hosting!

  17. Thanks so much for hosting! I'm in with two reviews-- The Other Side and Witches and Wizards:

  18. I've reviewed a nonfiction series book, Hairy Tarantulas by Kathryn Camisa at


  19. Hi and thanks for hosting! I read Heroes of the Environment and here's the link to my post:

    Better late than never :-)


  20. Here it is: my Nonfiction Monday entry for this snowy day.
    After taking two and a half days to shovel out to the street, you'll never guess what book I'm reviewing on Wendie's Wanderings: The Coldest Places on Earth.
    -wendie old

  21. Wow - the book looks wonderful and I was especially interested in the Google Book preview. Thanks for turning us on to that!