Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2009
Tales of the Wild West don't get any better than the life and times of Bass Reeves, the first African-American deputy U.S. marshal and the most successful in American history. Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrator R. Gregory Christie--both Coretta Scott King Award honorees--bring this fascinating historical figure to life in Bad News for Outlaws
, their superb book for middle grade readers. Kids will love the colorful language of the Old West, and the bold and dynamically rendered scenes of the heroic Reeves capturing the bad guys. And, they'll learn how the lawman--who was both greatly respected and feared--used his wits and intelligence, courage and character—and yes, incredible marksmanship--to bring more than 3,000 criminals to justice with fewer than 14 deaths in the line of duty. Put this knockout nonfiction book into the hands of readers ages 9-12. Bass Reeves is a name they won't soon forget. --Lauren Nemroff
From the Back Cover
Bass Reeves . . .
"One of the bravest men this country has ever known."
"The most feared deputy U.S. marshal that was ever heard of."
The first black man to ever be a deputy U.S. Marshall.
Sitting tall in the saddle, with a wide-brimmed black hat and twin Colt pistols on his belt, Bass Reeves seemed bigger than life. Outlaws feared him. Law-abiding citizens respected him. As a peace officer, he was cunning and fearless. When a lawbreaker heard Bass Reeves had his warrant, he knew it was the end of the trail, because Bass always got his man, dead or alive. He achieved all this in spite of whites who didn't like the notion of a black lawman.
Born into slavery in 1838, Bass had a hard and violent life, but he also had a strong sense of right and wrong that others admired. When Judge Isaac Parker tried to bring law and order to the lawless Indian Territories, he chose Bass to be a deputy U.S. Marshall. Bass would quickly prove a smart choice.
For three decades, Bass was the most feared and respected lawman in the territories. He made more than 3,000 arrests, and though he was a crack shot and a quick draw, he only killed fourteen men in the line of duty.
The story of Bass Reeves is the story of a remarkable African American and a remarkable hero of the Old West.