Off like the Wind!

The First Ride of the Pony Express
40p. 978-0-80279-652-3.
Gr 2-5 This colorful and accessible picture book recounts the day-to-day adventures of Pony Express riders on the first transcontinental mail delivery system, from St. Joseph, MO, to Sacramento, CA. The book opens with a map of the overland route, a time line of major events in the Express's short-lived history (18601861), and a quote from Mark Twain's "Roughing It". On the unprecedented journey, which took roughly 11 days, riders faced extremes in weather, buffalo stampedes, wolves, and encounters with Native tribes. The straightforward text in combination with the larger-than-life panoramic oil spreads capture the romance, excitement, and danger that riders experienced along the trail. An author's note explains that truth and legend are often intertwined when researching the Pony Express due to the destruction of records upon the cessation of service. Balancing the right amount of information with lively narrative, this book could easily be used in a history unit or as a general interest title."Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library" Copyright 2010 Media Source Inc.
Spradlin describes, day by day, the first eleven-day run of the Pony Express, starting on April 3, 1860. The enterprise required planning, stamina, bravery, and multiple skills, all of which the detailed oil illustrations show in darkish hues. After a brief introduction, the text uses present tense to describe the daily challenges of the riders. Endpapers feature a map and timeline. Reading list, websites. Bib.

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