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Ghost Moon (The Desert Legend Trilogy) Paperback – October 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this second installment of a trilogy that features somewhat old-fashioned but entertaining westerns, a young Canadian adventurer, Jim Doolen, winds up in the lawless territory of New Mexico. Along the way he meets Billy the Kid, becomes involved in an ongoing battle between corrupt forces in Lincoln County, and fights a renegade Apache named Ghost Moon. Wilson infuses his novel with compelling historical details: the reader can practically hear the creak of the saddle and taste the desert dust. This is also a fast-moving story with plenty of danger on the trail, causing revolvers to blaze with satisfying regularity. Grades 6-9. --Todd Morning


"Action fans will thrill to the gunplay and other dangers. James' conflicting feelings about his archetypically dangerous friend―and also a telling conversation with an old Mexican survivor of the Alamo about the difference between legend and reality―introduce thought provoking elements. A tale of the Old West with a sturdy historical base and nary a dull moment." (Kirkus Reviews 2011-09-21)

"[This] coming-of-age tale is filled with history, including an eyewitness account about what really happened at the Alamo, which is again referenced in the climax. Wilson, an award-winning Canadian author, captures the dichotomy building in Jim as he seeks his place in a world rife with violence and treachery." (VOYA 2011-12-01)

"A perfect book for boys looking to experience life during the Wild West." (Tri State YA Book Review Committee 2012-03-01)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 8 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Desert Legend Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554698790
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554698790
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,059,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When I read in schools, kids often ask: "Have you always wanted to be an author?" The simple answer is no, I was 43 when my first book (WEET) was published, but I have been an author as long as I can remember. Growing up in Scotland I compensated for a lonely childhood by making up stories in my head and all I do now is write those stories down.

History is the trigger for my stories: WWI (Shot at Dawn, And in the Morning), WWII (Flames of the Tiger, Four Steps to Death), or the Wild West (Written in Blood). I firmly believe that the decisions a Roman Legionary (Germania), or a Medieval Crusader (The Heretic's Secret Trilogy), had to make were just as confusing and frightening as any of the decisions we have to make today. That's what I try to bring out in my thirty plus fiction and non-fiction books for kids, teens and adults.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. J. Mathews VINE VOICE on May 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ghost Moon is story of historical fiction based on the events of the Lincoln County War, an 1878 range war that introduced to history such characters as John Chisum, Pat Garret and William (Billy the Kid) Bonney. Author John Wilson clearly loves history and has done a fine job of researching the events he writes about. Unfortunately, his writing style is somewhat clunky and mechanical which detracted some from my enjoyment.

The main character is Canadian youth Jim Doolan who was recently returned from a trip to Mexico in search of his father. While searching for a new adventure he meets Bill Bonney and sets off a chain of events that often threatens to terminate Jim's adventures sooner than he would wish. Jim is the stolid dependable sort that you would want your daughter to date but he doesn't make for very exciting reading. Billy the Kid, however, is portrayed as a volatile, almost bipolar character that easily fits the image that many of us have of this violent yet charismatic young man. It is this personality, caroming wildly through New Mexico that serves as a catalyst for much of the violence that takes place.

While most of the events and the dialog are fairly true to the period there was one word Wilson used regularly that I found somewhat anachronistic, namely the frequent use of the word `Hispanic'. I know this book is directed at younger teens and that one should strive to be sensitive to diverse cultures but this story takes place in 1878, only a generation after this land and its residents were governed by Mexico. I have a hard time imagining anybody referring to the Latino characters in the story as anything but Mexican. It is not a derogatory term and, even if it were, I never thought that Billy the Kid earned high marks for political correctness.
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Ghost Moon (The Desert Legend Trilogy)
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