SCRIB by David Ives


Age Range: 10 - 15
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Hitch up your jeans and saddle up for a rip-roarin’ and -writin’ escapade wild-west style with 16-year-old Billy Christmas, a letter writer whose life never lacks for adventure as he relates the exploits, letters and conversations he encounters in 1863. Nicknamed Scrib (short for scribe), he travels with his trusty friend Gabe (his horse), delivering and writing letters for folks who can’t. From the first chapter, the pace is fast with someone shooting at him and writing the threat, “Die!” on a rock. The action quickly tumbleweeds as Scrib runs into and away from typical western characters: the whiskey-drinking preacher, the robbing bar lady, the dishonest mayor/judge, the heart-of-gold killer, and the man in the black hat. If you can stand it, half the entertainment here is the wordplay, though it doesn’t always hold to form. Playwright Ives phonetically twangs Scrib’s spelling, riddling the narrative with wit and bite: e.g., “parabull” (parable); “senshal intoxication” (sensual); “poojilists” (pugilists). Shoot-em-up action, young hero, character and language buffoonery—it’s ready-made for a movie and brimming with ten-gallon fun. (Historical fiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-059841-7
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2005


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