cover image The Righteous Revenge of Artemis Bonner

The Righteous Revenge of Artemis Bonner

Walter Dean Myers. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (140pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020844-8

Uncle Ugly's tombstone reads: ``Here lies Ugly Ned Bonner, Once Alive--Now a Goner.'' Set in the late 1800s, this clever spoof chronicles Artemis Bonner's quest to avenge his uncle's death and to recover the treasure that rightfully belongs to his widowed aunt. As Artemis and his loyal friend Frolic trail the villain Catfish Grimes, the youth is tied to a cactus, loses an ear and almost becomes a bear's dinner. Yet when he learns that Catfish has stolen the treasure, Artemis is more determined than ever to take revenge. ``When I told Frolic, he spat on the ground, which is not Sanitary but which shows that he Means Business and will go with me to do what we must do.'' In his amusingly histrionic narration, Artemis emphasizes, with capitals, matters most important to him--``Quick and Agile mind''; ``Dear Life.'' Affected dialogue, authentic period touches and a few unexpected twists are inventively blended in this offbeat yarn. To Myers's readers, the Wild West will never look the same again. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)