November 01, 2008

Adventure Awaits

Prometheus Jones is a lucky, lucky boy, and he knows it. In spite of everything, he's lucky, 'cause his Mama told him so. It doesn't matter that his Daddy was a slave sold off away to the South, nor that his Mama has gone on to her rest. It doesn't matter that the old overseer's boys, Pernie and LaRue Boyd are a jealous pain in his behind. Prometheus hasn't ever been anybody's slave, and his luck means he's gonna make it big someday.

With nothing in his hand but a worn out raffle ticket, Prometheus wins a one-eyed stallion that's a fierce kicker. Pernie and LaRue are nothing but big-mouthed bullies, but there's no way they're going to let a black boy get a horse that they want for themselves without a fight. When a riot breaks out, Promethus grabs his young cousin and together, they hightail it for Texas. They just escape with their lives, and lucky Prometheus lands a job driving cattle from Texas to Deadwood, South Dakota, and his cousin is helping out the cook. He's only eleven, after all.

Prometheus is a lucky boy, all right, but he's going to have to hold onto that luck with both hands when the rigors of the trail begin. A jumpy stallion, prejudiced cowboys, violent storms, unfriendly Native Americans and a couple of thousand nervous cattle are just the beginnings of his troubles.

An energetic read for ages 10 and up, this is a surprisingly accurate, gritty portrayal of life in the Old West, telling it like it was for hundreds of young boys who left their homes and plantations after the Emancipation Proclamation and struck out for the untamed West. This is funny and sad and riveting, and is a perfect adventure tale for a cool autumn evening.

Buy The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones from an independent bookstore near you!

3 comments:

a. fortis said...

Oh, yes! This one sounded good. It's going on the TBR list...

Helen Hemphill said...

Thanks so much for the good words! HH.

tanita s. davis said...

Thanks for dropping by, Helen! Congratulations, it really is an awesome book.