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Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
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Bad News for Outlaws: Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  2,066 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews

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 always got his man, dead or alive. He

Published by Scholastic (first published November 1st 2009)
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I thought this was a very informative book about the life of Bass Reeves, a United States Deputy Marshall for 3 reasons. 1) I had never heard of this man, and when I finished reading the book I felt like I learned everything I needed to know. The book isn’t over powering with information, but it recounts important moments in his life, and how he affected the world around him in a way that allows you to understand who he was, what he did and why he's important. 2) I loved the way it was written. ...more
Sep 08, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biography – Juvenile Fiction

Summary: Maintaining an infallible integrity and sense of character, Bass Reeves, U.S. Marshal in the Indian Territories from 1875 to 1907, (eventually to become Oklahoma) arrests over 3000 men and women in creative ways to establish peace in extremely unlawful areas. He kills only fourteen men in all that time and is never wounded. Vaunda Micheaux Nelson renews the interest in this forgotten African American hero of the American West with the true stories of a man bo
Eva Mitnick
Nov 11, 2009 Eva Mitnick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, nonfiction
As the size of the book and his portrait suggest, Bass Reeves was larger than life. Born into slavery in 1838, he escaped from his owner during the Civil War and headed off for Indian Territory, where he lived with and was sheltered by Indians. After the war, he bought a farm, married, and "true to the song of his life, Bass had a big family" - 11 children. In 1875, Bass was hired by Judge Parker to track down outlaws as a deputy U.S. marshal - and because he was smart, honorable, a crack shot, ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: info-bios
The book, “Bad News for Outlaws”, describes the life of Deputy Marshall Bass Reeves. Reeves dedicated his life to serving the public by deceiving thieves and arresting outlaws. During his youth, Reeves was a slave in Texas where he sang of pistols, rifles, thieves, and killers. At one point, his mom thought he was going to become a criminal! One night, Reeves, who was a surly tall man, hit his owner and fled towards Indian Territory. For a short time, he lived within tribes and started to make l ...more
Nov 13, 2013 June rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Outstanding book about a black man who, for some 30 years, was a deputy U.S. Marshall in the Indian Territory, which later became the state of Oklahoma. He escaped slavery as a child to live with the Indians before becoming Marshall. These are the sorts of people who bring history to life. I'm sure I would never have heard of this man if Nelson hadn't written this book. Best of all, at the end she provides a photo of the real Bass Reeves, plus a glossary, timeline, and lots of web sites and book ...more
This juvenile non-fiction book commemorating the life of Deputy U.S. Marshall, Bass Reeves was as delightfully illustrated as it was informative. Bud Ledbetter, a fellow lawman called Bass "one of the bravest men this country has ever known." In his 32 years of service, Bass Reeves "arrested more than three-thousand men and women . . . He [himself] was never wounded . . . Remarkably, he killed only fourteen men in the line of duty."

Bass Reeves, an unsung hero. Vaunda Micheaux Nelson did a wonder
Mar 06, 2014 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: info-bios
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is a great read, especially for 3-5 grade students who may be reluctant or uninterested readers. The book uses "old West" language to tell the story of Reeve's exciting life capturing criminals. Nelson writes, "But Bass was as right as rain from the boot heels up. He couldn't be bribed." I would use this textbook in a unit study with other books that highlight this time in American history (In ...more
Amber Haynes
Mar 12, 2015 Amber Haynes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-fic
A larger than life human being, with a larger than life legacy! Bass Reeves was a U.S. Deputy Marshal in Indian territory during the time just after the Civil War and slavery ended. He was keen to detail and a sharp shooter, only shooting when utterly necessary. Taking down about 3,000 outlaws, including his own son, Reeves was the most feared deputy of his time.

The author of this book tells this story of a remarkable African American man making a positive name for himself fresh out of slavery.
I am pretty close to loving this book. I love that Bass Reeves was a real guy, a tall black man with a bushy mustache and a deputy's star, way back when in Indian Territory. Roustin' outlaws and all that. I love that this story shows the flip side of Little House on the Prairie. And MOST of the time, I love the tone. I love the swagger of the Western lingo the author is setting down. But she's inconsistent in its use, and some of the now-obscure terms (Bass Reeves is said to have "forked" his ho ...more
Jul 17, 2012 K.C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nelson, Vaunda Michaux.(2009). Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda books.

Category: biography, Coretta Scott King Award (author)

This is the story of Bass Reeves, a runaway slave who lived in Indian territory, living among Native Americans. He was later is hired as a U.S. deputy marshall in the territory that became Oklahoma. Over 32 years as a marshal, he captured hundreds of outlaws; he always got his man (and in the case of noto
Sarah BT
Feb 03, 2010 Sarah BT rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
About the Book: Bass Reeves was a former slave who became a U.S. Deputy Marshal. He worked hard bringing in criminals and was respected and feared for three decades. His story may sound like a tall tale, but this is the life of Bass Reeves.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Bad News for Outlaws is this year's Coretta Scott King Author Award winner. I'm so glad it won because not only do I think this book is incredibly deserving, but I'm not sure I would have come across it otherwise.

I don't know if I ca
2010 Coretta Scott King Award Winner.

When looking at the Coretta Scott King Award and applying it to the 2010 winner, Bad News for Outlaws, The remarkable life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, I came to the following analysis. This colorfully narrated story was written by by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Each page describes factually accounts and details of the legendary life of Bass Reeves. The language used is straight from that time period, which gives it a s
Dec 08, 2012 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Citation: Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. (Carolrhoda Books, 2009). 40p. Biography.

Summary: This book tells the history of Bass Reeves, a feared and respected lawman of the old west. Born a slave, Reeves escaped to the Indian Territory and devoted his life to bringing law to the territory that would become Oklahoma.

Critique: (a.) This book reads as a tall tale, almost too good to be true. The style draws the reader in righ
Jann Barber
Someone on Tumblr posted a piece on Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal. I found that I wanted to know more, and so I purchased a copy of Black Gun, Silver Star that I have not yet read. I checked Bad News for Outlaws out of the library.

This book is brief and for children. I did not feel that the information given painted a strong picture of Bass. I look forward to reading Black Gun, Silver Star, as it is written for adults and should have more flesh on the bones. I am curious to see whether any of
Charles Kim
Grade/interest level: 5th
Reading level: Lexile, 860L
Genre: Picture; Multicultural Literature; Historical Fiction

Main Characters: Bass Reeves
Setting: Indian Territories (1875-1907); present-day Oklahoma
POV: Third Person

Bad News for Outlaws talks about Bass Reeves,a U.S. Marshal in the Indian Territories from 1875 to 1907 (which eventually became Oklahoma). He was the first black man to become a U.S. Marshal and was good at being one. He arrested over 3000 men and women in creative ways to establ
Kym Winchester
Audience: I feel this book is appropriate for older elementary school-aged children, perhaps grades 3-6. This is due to more mature subject matter, including talk of slavery and murder.

Appeal: I think children interested in history, especially about the "Wild West" type of outlaw stories would love this book. Also children interested in learning about African American's part in helping settle our country.

Application: I would use this book in teaching about American history. It could also be ti
Taylor Destito
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Legendary lawman Bass Reeves went from slavery to wearing a star for the U.S.Marshall's office, capturing over 3,000 bad guys in Indian Territory and beyond. I will admit this laudatory picture book came close to being over the top in it's adulation--from what I read here, Bass was darn near perfect.

But you know what? That's okay. Some men deserve to be remembered that way, and apparently Reeves is one of those men. Bravo, Bass.

I appreciated the author's note at the end that explains why she ch
Jan 24, 2010 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picture Book for Older Readers
Winner of the 2010 Coretta Scott King award, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s well-researched account of Bass Reeves, slave turned Deputy U.S. Marshal, is a story of honesty and bravery. Bass Reeves’s story is told through a spirited, old-west narrative which will motivate reluctant readers. Kids will love learning about sharpshooter Reeves and how his disguises and trickery helped him arrest more than 3,000 outlaws over 32 years in Indian Territory. R. Gregory Christie’s p
The true story of African-American U.S. Deputy Marshall, Bass Reeves, who administered law in the Old West with compassion, fairness, and lawfulness. During his remarkable career from 1875 until the early 1900's, he brought to justice hundreds of outlaws, while killing only 14 even though he was instructed to bring the criminals in 'dead or alive'. Born into slavery, Bass saw freedom once the Civil War was over, and he was sought for this tough, grueling job because of his moral ethic and adhere ...more
Kathleen Ferrel
Bad News for Outlaws is historical multicultural book about the life and legend, Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves. It is a short biography of the "best U.S. Marshall Oklahoma has ever seen." Bass Reeves was one of the first black U.S. Marshal's west of the mississippi. I thought this book was very well written and the details the author adds about each character give this story a nice touch. The nice thing about this book is at the end there is a glossary for the "western words" used throughout t ...more
Kathleen Whitaker
This book is great for boys and girls learning about the Old West. The book tells of a slave that became a U. S. Marshall. He was a marshall for 32 years, arrested more than 3,000 men and women, yet only killed 14 of them because he preferred alive to dead. He believed in goodness and even tried to convert his captives to ment their ways. When one of his sons killed his wife, Marshall arrested his son and stayed by him. Marshall had a long career in law enforcement and he couldn't read! He worke ...more
6 star book.
bass reeves was a real life paul bunyun. born a slave, he escapes during the civil war into indian territory. he perfects his shooting and learns tracking, languages and the country. becomes a deputy marshall under the hanging judge, isaac parker. belle starr turns herself in rather than be tracked by him.
he's a sharpshooter that hates killing.
if luke short were an artist this is what his art would have tried to look like.
really great author notes.
this should be in all elementary
Theophilus (Theo)
I am a big fan of Bass Reeves and have read a lot about him, including several of the books referenced by the author. I expected much. It was a great book. Condensed to a perfect size for its audience with only the exciting parts left in. Not all of them mind you, but the age appropriate ones. Good to read to children and challenging for very young readers to tackle on their own, including a glossary. Why was this man left out of American Western history for so long? Thanks to the author for hel ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Micki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was enthralled with Bad News for Outlaws – The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, and I’m guessing that most people have never heard of him. Physically, Bass Reeves was a large man, he had a solid sense of right and wrong, and he was completely fearless. The book retells, with great detail and wonderful illustrations, some of the memorable stories from his days as a Deputy Marshal.

The best audience would probably be middle and upper grade students because the tone is serious
Feb 25, 2010 Carolynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This picture book is about an amazing man, Bass Reeves, an escaped slave who became Deputy U.S. Marshal in Indian Territory near the Oklahoma border, arresting more than 3000 people, including his own son and the infamous Belle Starr.
The author includes a bibliography and several historical notes. This story of "the finest deputy U.S. marshal of his time" would be mightily inspirational for disadvantaged youngsters who aspire to greater things.
The author received a 2004 Coretta Scott King Illus
Aly Gutierrez
Sep 09, 2016 Aly Gutierrez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
This book tells the story of Bass Reeves, a deputy U.S. marshal. The Indian Territory was known as a dangerous place, especially for a lawman. Reeves was after an outlaw named Jim Webb that he had captured previously. Webb had managed to avoid the lawman for two years and did not plan to end that streak. Webb attempted to escape on his horse as he noticed Reeves arrive in town. Reeves did not agree with bloodshed, but believed it might be necessary this time. Reeves was chasing Webb horseback a ...more
Brenda Lopez
Brief Summary: The book surrounds on the life of Bass Reeves who was a former slave who escaped to freedom in the Indian Territories. He went on to becoming a fearless and cunning U.S Marshal making a myriad of arrests.
Critique: This is a historical book that reveals an African-American hero from the Old West. One thing I enjoyed about this book is that it wasn't overloaded with facts. The author provided a list of Western terms meaning that were used throughout the book which I though was pret
Jason Brinley
Nov 09, 2015 Jason Brinley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, is a Coretta Scott King award winner, that highlights the life of this heroic African American man who was born into slavery; and, who ultimately becomes a distinguished U.S. marshal, protecting lives in the Indian Territory. As the author introduces Bass in a showdown with a much wanted "desperado," the mood of the story is immediately set with realism in the text and illustrations. Nelson a ...more
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Vaunda Micheaux Nelson loves bringing books and children together and feels lucky to have two careers that foster this. The children's librarian and author says, "It was destined from the day I was born. My mother found my name in a novel she was reading."

Vaunda's first book, Always Gramma, was selected by the Children's Book Council as a Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studie
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