Saturday, March 8, 2014

Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love

Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love by Patricia McKissack and Fredrick McKissack, Jr. is based on Nat Love's autobiography.

Nat Love was born a slave. He describes his master as a good man, but his master failed to tell his slaves after the end of the Civil War that they were free. Once they found out, life became more difficult as they had to find the means to provide for themselves.

One by one, the older members of Nat's family die leaving Nat more and more in charge of being the breadwinner. He earns money by breaking horses. Eventually he travels west to become a cowboy.

Many well-known Western figures show up in this story: Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Bill Cody to name a few.

In the space of Nat Love's lifetime, the West changed from vast open prairies filled with buffalo and tribes of Native Americans to a land crossed by railways and a few small herds of wild buffalo.

This is not a manga book, but rather an illustrated version of real history. It reminds me of the Classics Illustrated comic books I used to read when I was young.

Kathi Linz

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