A daredevil woman wins fame on the 20th-century rodeo circuit.
The county fair, full of colors, vegetables, and animals, is in Nebraska, and a 14-year-old white girl named Tad rides in on a great white horse ready to race. A different challenge soon presents itself as she joins in the contest for steer riding and wins it. So begins this tale of Barbara “Tad” Barnes, who was born in Nebraska at the beginning of the 20th century. Surrounded by horses, she grew up loving to race and performed in rodeos all across the United States and Mexico, specializing in daredevil moves and trick riding, all to great acclaim and popularity. Trophies followed until an accident at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair that should have sidelined her permanently but did not. She received many honors, and her daughter established an award in her name “to honor women who excel in any field related to Western heritage.” Edge writes in a breezy style that brims with admiration for her subject. Ford’s colorful if stiff illustrations depict cowboys and cowgirls, almost all white, and horses galore. A lariat serves to surround and highlight text.
A different take on women’s prowess and accomplishments that equine lovers will find appealing. (author’s note, photograph) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)