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Billy the Kid Library Binding – August 11, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Library Binding, August 11, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-A fictional account of a legendary figure. Readers find Billy sweltering in a tiny Arizona town with not much more than the dirty clothes on his back and eight dollars in pocket change. Hoping to turn his fortune around, he takes part in his first train robbery near his hometown. What starts off as a surefire way to get cash turns sour fast. Billy is recognized during the heist, and his cohorts are wanted criminals who try to cheat him. And the lawman responsible for bringing him to justice is his best friend and cousin, Willis Monroe. This twisting tale is full of horses, guns, greed, betrayal, regret, and love. A subplot featuring a feud between Willis and a local rancher gives the story an added dimension. Taylor's colorful descriptions and authentic language solidly anchor the setting in the Southwest. While at times slowing the pace, the character development and back story give the tale depth and complexity, which saves it from becoming a superficial shoot 'um-up Western. Taylor doesn't romanticize the events. Once Billy makes his decision to be a train robber and gunslinger, nothing, not even his winning smile and charming ways, can save him from his fate. An author's note explains Taylor's reasons for writing the story and gives a synopsis of the outlaw's real life. This story has definite appeal for readers interested in the era or those looking for a different kind of action book.-Catherine Callegari, San Antonio Public Library, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Although this western's main character is Billy the Kid, Taylor has altered history significantly in his fictionalized portrait of the notorious gunslinger. He depicts Billy as a charming but immoral 19-year-old who robs his first train in cahoots with three experienced robbers, then has a falling out with them. To Billy's shock, his best friend from childhood is the local sheriff, which sets up a series of tense pursuits involving the sheriff, Billy, and the other robbers. The upstanding sheriff has his own enemies, who also join in the chase. Although the writing in sometimes stiff, Taylor ably describes Arizona in 1881--its towns, ranches, and vast wilderness--and his combination of ample gun fighting and a story about strong friendship will appeal to fans of Old West yarns. Kathleen Odean
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Paw Prints; Reprint edition (August 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439517533
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439517536
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,245,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
He was dead by the time he was 19 --- though some say he might have been 21. Legend has it that he killed a man for every year of his life and that he was one of the best shots the old west ever saw. But this is the stuff of legend. The real truth surrounding the short life of William H. Bonney Jr. (Billy The Kid) is pretty much speculation. So Theodore Taylor has taken a blend of fact and fiction to create this version of the "Kid's" life.

Covering the last few weeks in the young desperado's life from an unfortunate train robbery to his grisly death in a gunfight, we are given both the Kid's point of view and that of his cousin and friend, sheriff Willis Monroe. Willis has known Billy since they were both youngsters, and when he hears that there's been a train robbery, he can hardly believe that the boy could be involved. With the hopes of bringing him safely back and clearing his name, Willis sets off to find him. His wife Kate also wants to believe in Billy's innocence but at the same time is frightened for her husband's safety.

Billy, for the time being, had taken the "easy" way out. Trying to make some quick money, he has fallen into the company of three notorious thieves. What seems like a good opportunity turns out to be poor judgment, and before everything is over, Billy kills one of the thieves (in self-defense), takes all the money and runs. But even when he meets up with Willis and agrees to go back for a trial, the cards seem stacked against him. He escapes from the jail and he and Willis end up in a desperate, bloody gunfight against the original thieves.

Was he a desperado, an outlaw, a murderer, a robber, or just a kid in the wrong place at the right time? 1881 was a hard, ruthless and mostly lawless time in the old west.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pretty good book. I love reading anything about Billy the Kid. Got it for the kindle. I would recommend this to whoever loves the wild west.
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