One Book, One Chicago Spring 2005
The City of Trembling Leaves
Random House, 1945
Republished as Tim Hazard. William Kimber, 1951.
The Ox-Bow Incident
Random House, 1940
The Track of the Cat: A Novel
Random House, 1949
Christmas Comes to Hjalsen, Reno
Reno Publishing House, 1930
Ten Women in Gale’s House and Shorter Poems
The Watchful Gods, and Other Stories
Random House, 1950
The Journals of Alfred Doten, 1849-1903
University of Nevada Press, 3 vols., 1973
Walter Van Tilburg Clark
A brief introduction to the author’s life and an extensive bibliography from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
History of the American West
Online resources from the Library of Congress’ American Memory website, including many beautiful photographs.
“The Ox-Bow Incident”
By Robert Louis Felix
Legal Studies Forum, v. 24, n. 3/4 (2000)
A section of the American Memory Timeline, a resource for teachers from the Library of Congress. Features two interviews with people who witnessed “frontier justice” in Texas in the 1870s.
In addition to Walter Van Tilburg Clark, here are some popular western writers and a brief description of their work.
Disliking the real West, he wrote many of his more than 215 westerns in Italy, often invoking European myth and legend. At least 27 of Brand’s westerns have been made into movies, including Destry Rides Again.
His novels realistically treat the cultural conflicts between the Texas Plains Indians and the settlers who displaced them.
Her writing depicts the harsh life of pioneering immigrant farmers who settled the prairies of the western United States in such novels as O Pioneers! and My Ántonia.
Estleman writes both mysteries and westerns, and his works include Journey of the Dead, about the man who killed Billy the Kid.
His 89 books cover nearly every western topic, from range wars and railroads to Mormons and outlaws. More than 40 have been made into movies.
The Big Sky, considered his masterwork, begins a quintet that traces civilization’s progress from 1830 to the early 20th century amid the harsh beauty of the American West.
Though a mystery writer, Hillerman was named one of the 24 best western authors by the Western Writers of America for his powerful sense of setting, usually the Navajo country of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
Raised in Montana, Johnson is celebrated for bringing a more sympathetic representation of women and Indians to the western. She is especially known for her short stories, one of which became the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
He was voted the best western author of all time by the Western Writers of America for his works including Buffalo Wagons, The Day the Cowboys Quit and The Way of the Coyote.
In more than 40 novels, L’Amour related the intertwining sagas of three families.
Leonard writes in many genres but began in westerns. Several were filmed, including Hombre, which was made into a movie starring Paul Newman.
Celebrated for his beautiful prose style, McCarthy has set his often-violent novels, the most famous of which are Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses (Book One in The Border Trilogy), in eastern Tennessee and the American southwest.
The Texas writer is especially known for his novels The Last Picture Show and Lonesome Dove.
Best known for his first novel, the classic Shane.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Stegner is remembered for his short stories and his many novels, including the western epics Angle of Repose and The Big Rock Candy Mountain.
Among his many well-respected novels is The Shootist, which won the Spur and was the basis for John Wayne’s last movie.
A Harvard graduate and lawyer, Wister moved to Wyoming in the 1880s and created the prototypical cowboy hero in The Virginian.
For Younger Readers
Black Cowboy, Wild Horses
By Julius Lester, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Dial, 1998 (Ages 8-12)
Read about the true-life adventures of a former slave who became a cowboy legend for tracking wild mustangs on the Texas plains.
Hannah Mae O’Hannigan’s Wild West Show
By Lisa Campbell Ernst
Simon & Schuster, 2003 (Ages 3-6)
Even though she lives in the big city and not on her Uncle Coot’s ranch, Hannah Mae sharpens her ropin’ and herdin’ skills just like a real cowgirl.
Little Red Cowboy Hat
By Susan Lowell
Holt, 1997 (Ages 5-9)
Little Red and her grandma saddle up and chase the low-life lobo off their ranch in this southwestern version of a favorite folk tale.
A Wild Cowboy
By Dana Kessimakis Smith, illustrated by Laura Freeman
Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2004 (Ages 2-5)
Spend a rugged day with this “real live buckaroo!”
By Stuart Murray
DK, 2001 (Ages 7 and up)
This informative and entertaining book gives an eyewitness account of what life was like in the early days of the American West.
For Older Readers
The Abernathy Boys
By Laura Jones Hunt
HarperCollins, 2004 (Ages 9-12)
Ride along on an adventure with brothers Bud and Temple as they set off on horseback searching for some danger and excitement before school starts.
The Cowboy’s Handbook: How to Become a Hero of the Wild West
By Tod Cody
Dutton, 1996 (Ages 9-12)
This book has all of the hints you’ll need to prepare for life on the 1800s frontier.
By Louis Sachar
Frances Foster, 1998 (Ages 10-14)
Stanley Yelnats is falsely accused of stealing a pair of shoes and sent off to a camp in the West, where he learns about friendship, suffering and justice, in this modern classic.
In the Days of the Vaqueros: America’s First True Cowboys
By Russell Freedman
Clarion, 2001 (Ages 10-14)
As early as the 1400s these brave and rugged men roamed North America, and Freedman’s master storytelling skills put you right by the campfire as you hear of their stories of lassoes and rodeos.
The Legend of Buddy Bush
By Sheila P. Moses
Margaret K. McElderry, 2004 (Ages 11 and up)
This multi-award-winning book tells of Pattie Mae’s uncle who is condemned to be lynched for a crime he didn’t commit and is ultimately saved by the love of family.
The Rag and Bone Shop
By Robert Cormier
Delacorte, 2001 (Ages 13 and up)
Sit on the edge of your seat as you watch Trent interrogate Jason until he starts to believe that he is responsible for the brutal murder of a young girl.
Why the West Was Wild
By Wayne Swanson
Annick, 2004 (Ages 10-13)
This book has it all, from cavalries and dance-hall girls, to buffaloes and boomtowns.