Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: How to Get Rich on a Texas Cattle Drive by Tod Olson

Synopsis:

 How to Get Rich on a Texas Cattle Drive follows the adventures of a 15-year-old cowhand on the famous Chisholm Trail through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, as he battles stampedes, rustlers, angry Comanche braves, territorial Kansas farmers, and half a continent’s worth of dust. With a combination of tongue-in-cheek humor and actual historical detail, this fictional account draws from the personal accounts of cowhands who drove cattle from the plains of Texas to the railheads of the Midwest in the 1800’s to capture the American drive towards success and riches.

Details:
  • Pub. Date: March 2010
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society

The Elliott Review:

This book is set up like a scrapbook of a young cowhand, with a very interesting visual elements that draw the eye into wanting to look at every tidbit of information. Each section has a diary entry written by a young protagonist with pictures (real or wonderfully drawn) that illustrate what each aspect of cattle-driving life was like. The most attention getting items on the page are the historical facts that are captions for each picture. There are also interesting maps of important areas and how-tos on things like branding and driving a herd. There are other primary source-ish documents like account ledgers and old encyclopedia entries.

This is great for those interested in history. It would be awesome for a classroom library or even for a history teacher trying to engage students with something different. It brings this period of history to life in a way that I have not seen before.

Source: Thanks to Media Masters for providing this copy for review.

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