Gr 9 Up-This compilation of Western adventure stories, with its old-fashioned and often difficult language, is best suited to an adult audience. The tales and essays by such notable figures as Teddy Roosevelt, Frederic Remington, Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, and Luke Short may not appeal to younger readers. While they are classic writings about raucous times, they will sound dated and trite to young ears. Filled with characters named Gus, Bub, and Johnny, and feisty girls filled with ``spitfire,'' the stereotypical cowboys, outlaws, etc. have become stale caricatures. Jack London's ``All Gold Canyon'' is an exception, however, and his gripping and timeless style will hold readers' interest. But the selections by such masters as Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour will only appeal to areas with Western collections, or to readers who already have a taste for the old West. The reproductions of paintings by artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, N.C. Weyth, and others complement the stories well but prove that art transcends time, while language must keep up with the demands of each new generation. Contemporary writers such as Gary Paulsen, with his clear realism and empathy for the history of the Southwest, will better serve young people interested in this genre.-Julie Halverstadt, Douglas Public Library District, Castle Rock, CO
Revisionists may gnash their teeth and multiculturalists may cry foul, but incorrigible suckers for Old West stories can blissfully ignore current views with this inviting visual and verbal feast. It spreads out color paintings by the famed names of the palette--Russell, Remington, N. C. Wyeth--that run in tandem with the yarn-spinners of the pen--Stephen Crane, Zane Grey, Bret Harte, Jack London, Louis L'Amour. So if an Indian attack, a cattle stampede, a falling out between desperadoes, and a saloon shoot-out hold center place in one's stable of fables, these are the Aesops of the genre. Of course, their creations, with a few exceptions such as Teddy Roosevelt's account of solitarily standing off a charge of young braves, date from well "after" the close of the frontier, so that even by the 1890s an O. Henry can hook the reader by making hilarious sport of stock characters. His gunslinging Calliope Catesby "became famed as a bad man among men who made a lifelong study of the art of truculence." An entertaining album carrying the imprimatur of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame."