Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bad News for Outlaws: Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves” as Want to Read:
Bad News for Outlaws: ...
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Rate this book
Clear rating

Bad News for Outlaws: Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,386 ratings  ·  231 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bad News for Outlaws, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bad News for Outlaws

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,294)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This book tells the story of Bass Reeves, who was born into slavery in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas. Like most slaves, he was given the surname of his owner, George Reeves. During the Civil War, Reeves fled north to what is now Oklahoma, and lived with Native Americans.

In 1875, a U.S. Marshal in the so-called Indian Territory hired 200 deputies and, hearing about Reeves’ skill with Indian languages as well as with a gun, he took on Reeves as well.

Reeves worked for thirty-two years as a dep
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
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
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
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
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
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
Philip Carlson
Bad News for Outlaws: The remarkable life of Bass Reeves is the true account of one of the west's most feared and respected African American icons that ever lived. This biography takes the reader along as it explores the life of Bass Reeves and his journey from childhood slave to Deputy U.S. Marshall. Although his name may not be as well known as that of Wyatt Earp or Pat Garrett, the legacy he led and the contributions he made to bringing justice to the wild west are just as significant. This ...more
As a teacher, I can say this book has it all. As a reader, I literally shouted out loud, "That's awesome!" twice while reading it.

This biographical picture book on Bass Reeves was all new to me. It tells the story of his life as a deputy U.S. Marshall. I haven't read many stories to my students about African American cowboys, but this one was so engaging, it makes me want to find more.

It's interesting that the author wrote about how Bass Reeves began his life as a slave, but doesn't spend much
David Korsak
This story is about a man who was born into slavery and who grew up to become an officer of the law. Outlaws feared him. Law-abiding citizens respected him. As a peace officer, he was cunning and fearless. His name was Bass Reeves and he patrolled mainly in the Indian Territories. It is said that he made over 3,000 arrests. This is pretty impressive for an African American man in the Wild West and during his career he only killed fourteen men. Even though he was a great shot and quick on the dra ...more
Bad News for Outlaws The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall (2010 Coretta Scott King Book Award recipient) Author Award Winner
This is an impressive book about the first Black U.S. Marshall, Bass Reeves. He was a real person who escaped slavery to become one of the most respected lawmen in Indian Territory. I thoroughly enjoy reading about Reeves life and times.
Text-To-Self This book brings back memories of old westerns my family used to watch on TV, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Rifle
Brady Stevens
This book is for grades 3-6 with a reading level of 5.6. I would use this book during the time of black history month or if we are going over the slave trade history. Story is based on the culture time of slavery where African Americans were treated not as equals. Explain the time in date that slavery first was establish then abolished after the Civil War. The story stated the relationships that African Americans had with other races include Native Americans. Being an African American he grew re ...more
Kelsey Hoban
This book I read for a project, it is a Notable Book for a Global Society award winner. I thought it was a very informative and interesting book to read. I really liked how the author created these actual events into a story line that was still fun to read. This book is a remarkable story about an African American deputy in the Old West who was formally a slave. It has an enduring quality and appealing plot line to it, these qualities made it interesting for the reader and made it appealing to t ...more
Audience:Young boys or anyone who likes Westerns or history of the Old West Grades 3 and up.

Appeal:Written like a Louis L'Amour book, uses Old West jargon, makes you feel like you're reading a story, not a nonfiction book. Text pages look like Wanted posters from the day. Included at the end are a dictionary of Western Words used in the book as well as a timeline and recommendations for further reading and websites.

2010 Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 76 77 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis
  • Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
  • Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
  • The Day-Glo Brothers
  • Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story
  • Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
  • We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
  • Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
  • Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln
  • 14 Cows for America
  • John Brown: His Fight for Freedom
  • The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary
  • Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
  • What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!
  • My People
  • Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman
  • Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson
  • When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson
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
More about Vaunda Micheaux Nelson...
No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller Almost to Freedom Who Will I Be, Lord? Mayfield Crossing Ready? Set. Raymond!

Share This Book