Posted by: kidsbooksreviews | April 28, 2008

Black Storm Comin’ by Diane Wilson

Black Storm Comin’ tells of Colton and his family, traveling west to Sacramento to rejoin his mother’s sister. Colton’s father accidentally shoots him and ends up taking off, leaving Colton to care for his mother and younger siblings. He does this by running away to join the Pony Express. Colton’s troubles are magnified by the fact that while he appears white, he is actually multi-racial. If he is discovered, he will not only lose his job, but may also face death.

This story can be used to supplement instruction about the westward expansion, the Pony Express, how race was viewed in the 1800s, and the events that led up to Abraham Lincoln becoming president.

This book uses a lot of vernacular, and the plot doesn’t move at nearly the same pace as the Express riders did, which may lose some readers. The second half of the book is much more captivating than the first half. I would suggest this book to students who are very interested in historical fiction; those who are unenthusiastic about the genre will have a hard time getting involved with this book.

This book was a 2007-2008 Mark Twain Award Nominee.

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