cover image The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express

The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express

Andrew Glass. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $15.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-385-32220-1

As he did in Folks Call Me Appleseed Johnny, Glass adopts a full-bodied conversational first-person voice, instantly allying readers with a legendary historical figure. The tale opens in 1860, when 13-year-old Cody, helping to support his widowed mother and his sisters, spies an ad for Pony Express riders and jumps at the chance to earn 25 dollars a week. Too young to snare a job as rider, Will becomes a stablehand, caring for exhausted ponies and preparing fresh mounts for the mail carriers. But Cody gets his big break when he is tapped to sub for two injured riders, and he gallops westward with a mailbag containing top-secret information: the results of the Presidential election that brought Abraham Lincoln to Washington. While this dramatic episode is the focus of Glass's informal biographical sketch, the author also briefly refers to Cody's adult achievements, which included running the world-famous Wild West Show. An informative concluding note fills in details of the short-lived Pony Express and Cody's diverse experiences. Featuring broad, abundantly textured strokes, Glass's dynamic oil paintings suggest the tale's energetic movement and Cody's fierce determination, also portraying the rugged, expansive terrain of a West that was wild. Ages 6-10. (Oct.)