Starred Review
"Christie's (Yesterday I Had the Blues) dynamic full-page oil paintings portray a somber, statuesque Reeves, his big eyes shining from under the brim of his deputy's hat. The folksy language is heavy with simile ('Bass took to guns like a bear to honey') and jargon (vittles, slack-jawed cowpoke), inviting a drawly reading."
—starred, Publishers Weekly
Starred Review
"Nelson's well-researched biography reads much like a tall tale or frontier legend...Christie's bold full-page paintings echo the heroic spirit...Here, children can saddle up with a genuine Western hero in a narrative that hits the bull's-eye."
—starred, Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review
"This captivating biography, told in language as colorful as Reeves's career, grabs readers with an 1854 gunfight, then flashes back to Reeves's early life and continues until his death. Accentuated with a palette knife, Christie's sharply textured paintings create an impressionist background of an unformed land as well as detailed portraits of this multi-dimensional individual, his bold black hat conveying unmistakable authority."
—starred, The Horn Book Magazine
Starred Review
"The text is chock-full of colorful turns of phrase that will engage readers who don't "cotton to" nonfiction (a glossary of "Western Words" is included). Christie's memorable paintings convey Reeves's determination and caring, while rugged brushstrokes form the frontier terrain. Youngsters will find much to admire here."
—starred, School Library Journal
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R. Gregory Christie

From: BookExpo Authors Studio
Hardcover: 978-0-8225-6764-6
List Price: $17.95
Reading Level: Grade 4
Interest Level: Grades 3-6
40 pages
9 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal
Written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

The story of Bass Reeves is the story of a remarkable African American and a remarkable hero of the Old West.

Sitting tall in the saddle, with a wide-brimmed black hat and twin Colt pistols on his belt, Bass Reeves seemed bigger than life. Outlaws feared him. Law-abiding citizens respected him. As a peace officer, he was cunning and fearless. When a lawbreaker heard Bass Reeves had his warrant, he knew it was the end of the trail because Bass Reeves always got his man—dead or alive. He achieved all this in spite of whites who didn't approve of the notion of a black lawman.

Author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson's dedicated research and illustrator R. Gregory Christie's vibrant artwork brilliantly combine to capture the imposing figure of Bass Reeves in Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal. Published by Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, this picture book accurately tells the story of a man born into slavery who grew up to become the most feared and respected lawman in the Indian Territories. He made more than 3,000 arrests, and though he was a crack shot and a quick draw, he only killed fourteen men in the line of duty.
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is the author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books for children, including Almost to Freedom, which received 2004 Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor Award. In addition to writing books, she has also been a teacher, newspaper reporter, bookseller, and children's librarian. She lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
R. Gregory Christie is an award-winning illustrator of many picture books, including Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth and The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children, for both of which he won Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor Award. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker and on music CD covers. He lives in New York City. For more information visit