Duster

Frank Roderus, Author, Walle Conoly, Illustrator Texas Christian University Press $18.95 (266p) ISBN 978-0-87565-055-5
Set in Texas after the Civil War, this is the first in the Chaparral series of historical novels for children. It's an unpretentious, leisurely western about a callow young rancher's first cattle drive. Though discursive and overlong, Duster creeps up on the reader's affections, and the story ends in a violent, gripping climax. Especially effective are Duster's encounters with bandits, traders and farmers, and his droll accounts of his many foolish predicaments. The author's sympathies for Mexicans and ""gringos,'' as well as for both experience and youth, are gracefully balanced; but it's his knowledge of the country and ranching life that distinguish the book. Scratchy drawings highlight a few of the livelier moments (such as when a pack mule bucks its load), and a glossary defines some, but not all, unusual terms. Ages 10-up. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 265 pages - 978-0-87565-095-1
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-0-8309-0164-7
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-585-34218-4
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-1-4959-8755-7
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