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Monday, April 26, 2010

Off Like the Wind - Michael Spradlin (Juvenile)

 

Released February 2010

www.bloomsburykids.com

Reviewed by Bob Walch

Here's an excellent introduction to the Pony Express and what the eleven day journey from Missouri to California entailed. On April 3, 1860, Johnny Fry left St. Joseph, Missouri, on the first 80 mile leg of the nearly 2,000 mile ride that would send mail on the overland journey to California.

Not only does this day by day account of the hazardous trip show what
Pony Express riders had to face on the journey but it explains why such a service was important in the opening of the western frontier.

Foul weather, difficult terrain, hostile Indians, and obstacles like herds of buffalo and flash floods didn't deter the riders. Riding in both directions (east and west) and changing horses every ten to fifteen miles, these men were determined the mail would make it to its destination on time.

In the spring of 1861, the Pony Express set a record as its riders made the trip in just under eight days as they rushed copies of President Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Address to the West Coast.

Beautifully illustrated and featuring a time line of important events, a map and suggestions for further reading, this informative volume is the ideal way of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the famed Pony Express. 

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