The Legend of Bass Reeves by Gary Paulsen

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Born into slavery, Bass Reeves became the most successful US Marshal of the Wild West.
Many "heroic lawmen" of the Wild West, familiar to us through television and film, were actually violent scoundrels and outlaws themselves. But of all the sheriffs of the frontier, one man stands out as a true hero: Bass Reeves.

He was the most successful Federal Marshal in the US in his day. True to the mythical code of the West, he never drew his gun first. He brought hundreds of fugitives to justice, was shot at countless times, and never hit.

Bass Reeves was a black man, born into slavery. And though the laws of his country enslaved him and his mother, when he became a free man he served the law, with such courage and honor that he became a legend.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Gary Paulsen

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Gary Paulsen is the author of more than 100 books and the winner of numerous awards, including three Newbery Honors and the Golden Spur Award for Best Young Adult Western.
Published December 25, 2008 by Laurel Leaf. 160 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Westerns, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Legend of Bass Reeves

Kirkus Reviews

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Paulsen takes the few facts known about this remarkable man and shapes them into a compelling, even elegant narrative—brief sections of historical fact between longer, fictionalized tales of the boy Bass Reeves was and the man he became.

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Publishers Weekly

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(After the Emancipation Proclamation, Bass becomes a successful cattle rancher and, at 51, is appointed a deputy federal marshal, charged with "clean[ing] up" the Indian Territory.) Frequently confronting racial prejudice, Bass nonetheless never draws his gun first, killing only 14 outlaws.

Jul 31 2006 | Read Full Review of The Legend of Bass Reeves

Common Sense Media

Tweens will learn about an overlooked character in the Wild West and may be inspired to read other books about him or to learn more about this period of history.

Aug 01 2006 | Read Full Review of The Legend of Bass Reeves

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