AN OUTLAW THANKSGIVING by Emily Arnold McCully

AN OUTLAW THANKSGIVING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Into a true account of an unusual 1896 Thanksgiving McCully (Beautiful Warrior, 1998, etc.) inserts Clara Maher and her mother, traveling from New York to Utah to join Clara's father before they go on to California. Early in the adventure, Clara spots a wanted poster for Butch Cassidy--a man who never kills anyone, and who gives to the needy, according to a newsboy. When the train is snowbound, the passengers have to take shelter in hotels until the tracks are cleared. Clara and her mother travel by sleigh to Brown's Hole, Utah, where a group of friendly ranchers serves a splendid Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, oyster dressing, olives, fresh tomatoes, and crispy lettuce are on the menu, and the presence of fresh produce (to readers) in such a frozen landscape is more surprising than the presence of Butch Cassidy, one of the hosts, recognized only by Clara. He gives Clara a wink and a silver dollar, which she says she will treasure. Several days later, when the snow is cleared from the tracks, the outlaws take Clara and her mother back to the train and they continue westward. McCully concludes with a note on the historical basis for the tale. The snowy watercolor illustrations are charming as are the many illustrations of warm and friendly outlaws; the story may be predictable, but it includes moments of exhilarating adventure.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
Page count: 37pp
Publisher: Dial