by Cody Kimmel
Book list Gr. 3^-7. This third installment in the Adventures of Young Buffalo Bill series finds nine-year-old Bill trying to run the family homestead without his father, who was stabbed by anti-abolitionists and forced into hiding. Bill works hard, but he can't help resenting the responsibilities that face him and wondering if he will ever have fun again. A perceptive young teacher helps him realize the importance of asking for help. Kimmel based this on autobiographies by the real Cody and Cody's sister, Julia, and she makes every effort to stay true to actual events and to explain where fact and fiction diverge. Her use of daydream segments is particularly effective, offering readers perspective on Bill's fears as well as a foreshadowing of the adult he will become. The boy emerges as a likeable protagonist, filled with a particular spark even as he struggles with hardships that might easily beat down competent adults. This can stand alone, but readers will, no doubt, request other titles in the series. --Kay Weisman
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
School Library Journal Gr 3-7-When the Codys arrived in Kansas Territory in 1854, they settled in a land violently divided over slavery. Storm, the third title in the series, chronicles the family's struggles, focusing on young Bill, and an intriguing glimpse into history emerges. His father, Isaac, stabbed by a pro-slavery man, and in a weakened condition, is forced to hide, leaving his wife and children alone on their Kansas claim. Nine-year-old Bill must assume a huge workload, and he faces more than his share of dangers from the border ruffians. In one tense scene, Bill helps foil the murderous intentions of a mob of ruffians circling his cabin. The prose is generously seasoned with easy dialogue, and employs occasional dream scenes that enrich readers' understanding of Bill's character. The plot develops at a good pace and has excitement enough to lure reluctant readers. The afterword grounds the story in history, establishing, for example, that Isaac Cody shed the first blood in Kansas, and confirming the historical existence of several of the characters in the story. This book, along with the others in the series, has the potential to draw an appreciative audience of frontier-adventure-loving children, particularly those who are attracted to Gary Paulsen's "Mr. Tucket" books (Delacorte).-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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