Format: cd audiobook, 8 discs
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Historical western
What did you like about the book? The story is told in alternating voices between Rusty Shannon and Buffalo Caller. It’s 1861 when Rusty’s adoptive father is murdered but the story starts nearly 20 years earlier, when Commanches kill Rusty’s parents. Buffalo Caller wants to raise the red-headed toddler as his own as he has no sons, but when the Commanche’s are attacked by white men, the boy ends up with Mike Shannon, a farmer, and his wife.
Elmer Kelton is not only a master story-teller, he creates characters that are so alive you are there right with them and in the world in which they live, in this case Texas of 1861 onwards. Texas is seceding from the Union which pits settlers against one another. Rusty is forced to join a group of the Rangers, whose duty it was to keep peace between the settlers and the Indians. There is plenty of action to accompany the historical story being played out.
Anything you did not like about the book? No.
To whom would you recommend this book? This one is for Elmer Kelton fans but also for those who may not be aware of him – who like Westers and history and great storytelling.
Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it? audiobooks, Westerns, if separated by genre
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you like historical westerns, Elmer Kelton is the one to choose!
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review
Date of review: 2/27/2020