Three books that look at the exciting, often-controversial lives of famous figures from the Old West. Children are told about the important role Sitting Bull played in trying to improve the relations between the white and Native American peoples, and that he was an honored leader and war chief of the Hunkpapa Sioux, yet he died at the hands of a Native American. Buffalo Bill Cody was instrumental in changing people's view of the West through his creation of the well-known stage show. Wyatt Earp led an honorable and highly respectable life until the gunfight at the O.K. Corral and subsequent events turned him into an outlaw. Contrary to popular belief, he chose to use intimidation rather than guns to deflate otherwise volatile situations. Black-and-white and full-color paintings, photos, and drawings enliven each book, and fact boxes add interesting sidelights to the already inviting material.
--School Library Journal on Sitting Bull, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Wyatt Earp.
These utilitarian biographies about charismatic and controversial Native American leaders provide plenty of report information. Each book begins with a compelling scene from near the end of the subject's life and then goes back to trace, in five or six engaging and readable chapters, earlier events. Since there is little extant material about these leaders' early lives, both books are careful to say "he probably" did this or "probably did" that while providing generalized background about tribal life, including naming ceremonies, vision quests, and the adult lives of both men. The authors also discuss specific battles. Both leaders were considered dangerous by the cavalry and Western settlers; the authors present a balanced view, leaving readers to answer the question--were these men warriors protecting their people or mass murderers? The layout is inviting, with plenty of white space, and most of the illustrations are period color photographs.
--School Library Journal on Crazy Horse and Geronimo.