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The Gentleman Outlaw and Me--Eli
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The Gentleman Outlaw and Me--Eli

4.6 17
by Mary Downing Hahn

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In 1887 twelve-year-old Eliza, disguised as a boy and traveling to Colorado in search of her missing father, falls in with a gentleman outlaw and joins him in his illegal schemes.


In 1887 twelve-year-old Eliza, disguised as a boy and traveling to Colorado in search of her missing father, falls in with a gentleman outlaw and joins him in his illegal schemes.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Eliza Yates and her mother lived a peaceful and loving existence with relatives for many years until her mother died. The relatives then began to treat Eliza as a servant, her mean cousins making her the scapegoat for their misdeeds. Finally fed up, Eliza stole away in the middle of the night, planting evidence that she had come to a tragic end so that no one would search for her, thus giving her time to find her father who was last reported to be living in Tinville. Readers will enjoy Eliza Yates's transformation into Eli Bates and the subsequent adventures across America's old west with the Gentleman Outlaw Calvin Featherbone. Eventually their schemes land them in trouble with the law, and reunite them with Eli, Eliza's dad. 1997 (orig.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Treated like a "cinderella" by her stingy relatives, Eliza Yates runs away to find her fortune-seeking father in Colorado. To protect herself from the leering men of the West, she dresses as a boy and becomes Elijah Bates, Eli for short. She wanted freedom and adventure, and she get more than she bargained for. The "outlaw" is Calvin Featherstone, 18, who is more bluster than substance. The two join forces and are soon wanted by the sheriff for horse stealing and cheating at cards. It's up to "Eli" to save them both. There's enough hi-jinx, danger, and hilarity to keep all readers satisfied. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Eliza Yates is 12 years old in 1887 when she runs away from her cruel aunt and uncle and sets off for Tinville, Colorado, in search of her missing father. After being accosted by a tramp, she disguises herself as a boy, and it is "Elijah Bates" who meets up with Calvin Featherbone, an 18-year-old who calls himself the "Gentleman Outlaw." He is also headed for Tinville, in search of that town's Sheriff Yates, a man he believes shot his father in the back. The two join forces, though it is soon obvious both to Eliza and readers that Calvin is a greenhorn who will do nothing but get them into scrapes with his fool ideas. Hahn has obviously done her research, and succeeds in bringing the ambiance of the Old West to her novel. The result is a fast, funny, and entertaining adventure that's just the thing for fans of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman."-Elizabeth Mellett, Brookline Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Colorful characterizations and high-spirited language carry this ripsnorting western. After the death of her mother, Eliza, 12, runs away from her cruel and unscrupulous Kansas relatives. She sets out with her faithful dog, Caesar, to find her father in the silver mines of Colorado; early on, in a stolen pair of overalls, she transforms herself into "Eli." Soon after she meets Calvin Featherbone, known as the Gentleman Outlaw, who has been shot and left for dead by a pack of scoundrels. A healed Calvin—who talks "like he swallowed a dictionary"—sets off with Eli for Tinville, Colorado, to shoot his sworn enemy, Sheriff Alfred Yates. The sheriff happens to be Eliza's father.

Hahn (Look For Me By Moonlight, 1995, etc.) has written an amusing comedy of errors that derives much of its humor from Calvin's speech and manners and Eliza's wry asides alluding to her true identity as a girl. With plenty of twists and turns—and a cameo appearance by Doc Holliday—it's a real cowgirl triumph.

From the Publisher

"With plenty of twists and turns -- and a cameo appearance by Doc Holliday--it's a real cowgirl, triumph." Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.53(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I got the idea to run away the night Uncle Homer beat me for spilling a glass of milk. I hadn't done it on purpose, and I was genuinely sorry because I was hungry and knew full well I wouldn't get a second glass. But he took his belt to me any way, and no one said a word in my defense.

Fair didn't enter into it. My cousins spilled milk like it was water going over Niagara Falls and never got a whipping, but I wasn't on an equal level with Millicent, William, and Little Homer. I was a charity case, pure and simple.

Of course, there's some history behind all this. About seven years ago, when I was five, my father got fed up with farming and decided to head west. Nothing Mama said could change his mind. No matter how she begged and pleaded, Papa was bound and determined to try his luck at prospecting. Others were getting rich. Why not him too?

While Papa sought his fortune in Colorado, Mama and I stayed in Kansas with her sister's family. Aunt Mabel and Uncle Homer treated us all right at first. Like Mama and me, they expected Papa to get rich. No doubt they imagined he'd reward them for taking good care of his wife and daughter.

Then a terrible thing happened. After we'd been at Aunt Mabel's house for a couple of years, Mama took sick and died which is all I can say without crying because I still have a big empty place in my heart where she used to be.

Not long after that, my life took an even worse turn. Papa's letters stopped coming. My kindly kin told me he didn't want me anymore. Which wasn't any wonder, they said, as I was nothing to brag about.

Without Mama to protect me, I soon found my self living the life of a slave, fetching and carrying and doing allthe chores whilst my cousins mocked and teased me. The night I spilled the milk, I decided I'd had more than enough of Uncle Homer's belt and Aunt Mabel's spiteful tongue. The next time my uncle took a notion to whip me, I'd head west. Papa's last letter had come from Tinville, Colorado. I hoped I'd find him there.

Copyright ) 1996 by Mary Downing Hahn

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"With plenty of twists and turns—and a cameo appearance by Doc Holliday—it's a real cowgirl, triumph." Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

MARY DOWNING HAHN, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar. Visit her online at www.marydowninghahnbooks.com.

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Gentleman Outlaw and Me--Eli 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this booooooookkkk sooooooooo much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great, i read it when i was in fifth grade and read it recently and still loved it. Read
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I havent read the entire book yet but so far it is the best book ever!!!!!! It is just so amazing!!!! I went to the library looking for some books and my brother told me to hurry up so I found Mary's book section and grab two books. Soon as I got home I read what it was about and I thought I would like it a whole lot!!!!! So I started to read it. I love Mary's books sooooooo very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Gentleman Outlaw and Me-Eli Corey Mano This story takes place in the Old West. The book is about a girl named Eliza Yates who lives in Kansas. When Eliza was younger, her dad left her and her mom to go find gold in Tinville, Colorado. After he left Eliza¿s mom got sick and died leaving Eliza to live with Uncle Homer, Aunt Mabel, Millicent, William, and Little Homer. Eliza found herself working as a slave and constantly got beatings and was treated terribly. Also her father¿s notes stopped coming and she started to worry a lot. Then the night Eliza got a beating for spilling her milk she set off to Tinville with her dog Caesar and twenty dollars her mom had given her when she died. Eliza then cut her hair and put on some boy¿s clothes so no one would worry about her and she called herself Elijah Bates. She tried to get on a train to Tinville but couldn¿t so she goes into the forest and there she meets Calvin or the Gentleman Outlaw shot on the arm but wasn¿t dead. ¿Elijah¿ saves him and they both start heading to Tinville because Calvin¿s dad was shot there and Calvin wants to kill the officer who killed Calvin¿s dad. Calvin and Elijah stop at towns and sometimes make money and sometimes lose money. Will The Gentleman Outlaw and Elijah make it to Tinville and if they do will Elijah find her dad? Read the book to find out. I liked this book because it was about the Old West and it was very interesting. I did not like this book because the Gentleman Outlaw did not rob a bank. I rate this book a 5 out of 5.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is more than outstanding.Its got everything in a book you would want. I am Eleven years old and I give this book 100 percent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a non stop kind of book. It actually put you in Elizas spot not just her imagination. one of my top 3 favorite books!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Gentleman Outlaw and Me is one of my favorite books. It is a beautiful book, placing you in the story. Rather than reading it, you're living it, and that's cool since usually books are just about the words. I'm surprised that I was the first to make a review on this book since it's just about the most amazing book ever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Should be zero stars, but then I couldn't post this review...a potty-mouth "hero" and a randy widow.....painful. Now I understand why it was free.
Samuel Almonte More than 1 year ago
The story of a struggled girl searching for love and compassion