A Right Fine Life: Kit Carson on the Santa Fe Trail

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9780823413263: A Right Fine Life: Kit Carson on the Santa Fe Trail
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At the age of sixteen, an adventurous Kit Carson runs off to join a wagon train heading westward along the Santa Fe Trail, the first in a series of adventures that would make him famous.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-4?Based on a real episode, this lively tale tells of young Kit Carson's first journey west. The 16-year-old sets out with his "possibles bag for squirreling away any such thing as might come in handy" and hires on with a wagon train headed for Santa Fe. Separated from the caravan during a buffalo stampede, he meets an Indian girl who helps him when he is badly bitten by fleas. He eventually finds his way back to the wagon train, where he helps to save the life of one of the men. The young man's enthusiastic narration offers an absorbing firsthand account of life on the trail, from the fears and dangers to the colorful characters and scenic wonders. The tale shows how this journey inspired Carson's love and respect for the land and why he resolved "to have an adventure every day of [his] life." Glass's oil paintings capture the Wild West atmosphere, full of chaotic motion and natural beauty. Four pages of informative and well-written afterwords are appended, two on the Santa Fe Trail and two covering the rest of Kit Carson's life. An excellent, engaging picture-book presentation.?Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 3^-5, somewhat younger for reading aloud. Noting that the "facts" reported in many books about Kit Carson are based on earlier legendary accounts, Glass spins a tall tale of his own. In this entertaining picture book for older readers, Kit Carson tells of running away as a 16-year-old to join a wagon train bound for Santa Fe. While on the trail, he keeps his head when a prairie fire causes a buffalo stampede, he amputates a man's arm to save his life, and he befriends an Indian girl who helps rid him of fleas and gives him a Cheyenne name meaning Little Chief. The full-page and double-page oil paintings, heavily textured, are as vivid and colorful as the tale. Long notes about the Santa Fe Trail as well as Carson himself add to the usefulness of this action-packed book, which will supplement more traditional histories of the period. Carolyn Phelan

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Andrew Glass
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