Duster

Overview

What would it be like to have money for necessities again? Could a cattle drive be the answer? Douglas Dorword is the oldest in his family, and at fifteen, he jumps at the chance to go along with Mr. Sam Silas's men on a round-up and trail drive. Jobs aren't easy to come by in post-Civil War Texas, and the cattle drive seems like an adventure in the making-one that pays thirty cents a day. The youngest of Silas's men, he is soon christened with a new name-"Duster"-and opens a ...
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Duster

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Overview

What would it be like to have money for necessities again? Could a cattle drive be the answer? Douglas Dorword is the oldest in his family, and at fifteen, he jumps at the chance to go along with Mr. Sam Silas's men on a round-up and trail drive. Jobs aren't easy to come by in post-Civil War Texas, and the cattle drive seems like an adventure in the making-one that pays thirty cents a day. The youngest of Silas's men, he is soon christened with a new name-"Duster"-and opens a new chapter in his life.

Unsure of what to expect, he befriends a young Mexican hand, Jesus, who gives him some insight into how to survive the grueling days. When they are kidnapped, the adventure of the drive turns deadly. Duster's fate hinges on the rescue he's sure will never come. Becoming a man was never so hard, but giving up is not in him. He and Jesus are determined to go down fighting. Will help come for them-or will it be seconds too late?

PW REVIEW
Set in Texas after the Civil War, this is an unpretentious, leisurely western about a callow young rancher's first cattle drive. Though discursive and overlong, Duster creeps up on the reader's affections, and the story ends in a violent, gripping climax. Especially effective are Duster's encounters with bandits, traders and farmers, and his droll accounts of his many foolish predicaments. The author's sympathies for Mexicans and "gringos," as well as for both experience and youth, are gracefully balanced; but it's his knowledge of the country and ranching life that distinguish the book.

The adventures of a young greenhorn "cowpoke" in Texas after the Civil War.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in Texas after the Civil War, this is the first in the Chaparral series of historical novels for children. It's an unpretentious, leisurely western about a callow young rancher's first cattle drive. Though discursive and overlong, Duster creeps up on the reader's affections, and the story ends in a violent, gripping climax. Especially effective are Duster's encounters with bandits, traders and farmers, and his droll accounts of his many foolish predicaments. The author's sympathies for Mexicans and ``gringos,'' as well as for both experience and youth, are gracefully balanced; but it's his knowledge of the country and ranching life that distinguish the book. Scratchy drawings highlight a few of the livelier moments (such as when a pack mule bucks its load), and a glossary defines some, but not all, unusual terms. Ages 10-up. (March)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875650555
  • Publisher: Texas Christian University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1987
  • Series: Chaparral Books Series
  • Pages: 266
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANK RODERUS wrote his first story, a western, at age five, and says he quite literally has never wanted to do anything else. He has been writing fiction full-time since 1980, and was a newspaper reporter before that. As a journalist, he won the Colorado Press Association's highest honor, the Sweepstakes Award, for the Best News Story of 1980. His novel Leaving Kansas (Doubleday, 1983) won the Western Writers of America's Spur Award for Best Western Novel as did Potter's Fields. A life member of the American Quarter Horse Association, he is married and currently resides in Florida.
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