Second place, Western Fiction—Young Readers, Will Rogers Medallion Award, 2017.
Finalist, Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award, Best Western Young Adult/Children Fiction, 2017.
A young man befriends a group of Mexican homesteaders who are being pushed off their land by an overbearing rancher.
Tommy Reeves and his pal Red Armstrong make friends with the Mexican people who live near the ranch where they work. Their foreman tells them to stay away from the Mexican girls, but the boys do not heed the warning and are fired. Then they find out that Vinch Cushman, their former employer, is trying to force the Mexican people off their land by damming the creek that supplies their water. When Red goes to sabotage the dam, he is shot dead. Tommy joins the Mexicans in their exodus, but Cushman is not content with just driving them away. They will have to endure his repeated attacks until a final showdown determines the fate of all involved.
“Characterization is satisfyingly complete, and the laconic style of dialogue is especially effective in portraying the Old West. The book really shines with its wonderful, authentic details.” —Historical Novel Society
“The coming-of age story is a staple of the western genre, but the prolific Nesbitt finds some new things to do with it, darkening the proceedings considerably. His characters, as always, feel like real people, not like Wild West stereotypes . . . for the author’s many fans, not to mention western readers in general, the novel should be considered a must-read.” —Booklist