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THE RIGHTEOUS REVENGE OF ARTEMIS BONNER by Walter Dean Myers

THE RIGHTEOUS REVENGE OF ARTEMIS BONNER

by Walter Dean Myers

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0-06-020844-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

A popular, award-winning author takes a new tack with a comical western adventure la Sid Fleischman. Artemis, 15, leaves his mother and native New York at the request of an aunt in Arizona, who hopes Artemis can find the treasure his uncle concealed before he was shot by the evil Catfish Grimes and also avenge Uncle Ugly's death. There's a treasure map, and both Catfish and Aunt Mary have copies; but since no one knows which of the places that Uncle Ugly frequented includes the site, Artemis (with Frolic, a sidekick who claims to be part Cherokee) and Catfish (with the deceptively attractive Lucy Featherdip) try one after another--in Mexico, California, Seattle, and Alaska--with fairly violent slapstick encounters in each, though neither ever quite follows through on chances to do the other in. Back in Tombstone, Artemis agrees to a shoot-out and apparently kills Catfish (he mils it "self-defense"); still, Catfish's (and Myers's) last trick leaves room for a sequel. Artemis narrates the picaresque shenanigans in a pious, well-schooled voice, a parody of 19th-century formality that's amusingly at odds with his freewheeling behavior. The lighthearted tale is also enriched by the growth of the boys' at first casual friendship ("We had become a team and True Friends to boot") and by offhand comments about being black in the mostly white world of the early We, at. An entertaining yarn that could well introduce new readers to historical fiction. (Fiction. 10- 14)