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The Story of Stagecoach Mary Fields (Stories of the Forgotten West) Paperback – December, 1994
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3?According to the author's note, Mary Fields was the first African American woman to carry the United States mail, driving a stagecoach route from Cascade to St. Peter's Mission, MT. Miller tells youngsters a bit about her and how she came to accomplish this feat. Her subject's story, like many tales from the "forgotten West," is a fascinating one; however, the narrative is choppy, jumping from incident to incident, and impersonal. Fields does not emerge as an individual of substance. Readers get very little sense of her life as a person of color, or as a woman living a nontraditional lifestyle. The finely detailed, watercolor-washed illustrations provide some texture to the account, as they beautifully capture the subject's expressions at significant moments, but the backgrounds are oddly flat. Nonetheless, this book does offer an appealing glimpse of a little known aspect of American history and, as such, is a worthwhile addition to most collections.?Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 1^-4. The author profiles the life of Mary Fields, a freed slave who, as the first African American woman letter carrier, delivered the U.S. mail via stagecoach between Cascade, Montana, and St. Peter's Mission in the late 1800s. Although Miller cites no sources and relates this tale in a style more suited to folklore than to biography, he does present a picture of a strong, independent woman who never allowed others to take advantage of her. Hanna's lively colored pencil drawings bring the cigar-chomping, gun-slinging heroine to life and include many details of the Montana frontier. A useful addition to units on African Americans and U.S. history, or, pair it with Geis' The First Ride , another perspective on pioneer mail delivery. Kay Weisman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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