Friday, January 11, 2013

Graphic History Week 4 : Best Shot in the West by McKissack & Duburke

Graphic Novels are a great way to introduce readers of all ages to Historic people and events. I knew a little about the life of  Nat Love, but this book wonderfully explores Nat's life and experiences as a cowboy. The story opens in Denver Colorado in 1902, where we see a middle aged Nate working for the railroads as a Porter. It is a difficult life for Nat, but he moves through it with a grace and respect that is rarely returned to him.
A run in with Bugler, a friend from Nat's past, causes him to reflect on his life and many adventures. Born on a plantation in Tennessee in 1854 Nat grows up in the tough times following the Civil War. Nat discovers he has a natural talent as a horseman and spends a great deal of time breaking in the toughest of horses.
In February of 1869, Nat wins a horse raffle twice and gathers enough funds to make it to Kansas City where he joins a cattle outfit. Thus begins Nat's life as a cowboy. For years he works the cattle trails and meets some of the greatest personalities of the Old West like Billy the Kid.
I really loved this Graphic Novel. The McKissack's writing flows wonderfully with Duburke's art. This book was very informative and really created in me to learn more about the life of this amazing man.

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