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Reflections of a Black Cowboy
Cowboys, No. 1

By Robert H. Miller

     “Reflections of a Black Cowboy—Cowboys, No 1,” is an engrossing book that introduces readers to a part of history many are unfamiliar with—the role Black Cowboys played in American History.

   Although written with young readers ages 9 and up in mind, readers of all ages will enjoy "meeting" such people as Mary Fields, a former slave with a mind of her own and a spirit of independence who, at the age of 60, became only the second woman to carry the U S mail. “Reflections of a Black Cowboy” also tells the story of Cherokee Bill, whose unfortunate childhood led him into a life of crime with tragic results. Also included is the story of Willie Kennard, a former Buffalo Solider who became a mining town's first Black Marshal. The book ends with the inspiring story of history's most famous Black cowboy of all, Bill Pickett, who invented the sport of steer wrestling.

     Inspired by tales his mother told him and his brother of her uncles who were cowboys, Mr. Miller uses an interesting narrator—the old cowboy, talking to his dog, Sundown—to introduce and end each history vignette. The author's style is informative and lively. His use of colorful metaphors throughout the book ensures that each character sketch comes alive for the reader. Like other books I've read from this publisher, “Reflections of A Black Cowboy” educates as it entertains. I heartily recommend this as a must buy and read for parents who want to ensure that their children enjoy a full and accurate account of an important but often overlooked and ignored part of American History.

The Book

Justus Books
Children’s nonfiction / West / Cowboys / History (Ages 9-12)
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The Reviewer

Mary Lynn
Reviewed 2005
NOTE: Reviewer Mary Lynn is the author of "Dear Cari."
© 2005