By Audrey Couloumbis
In the newspaper:
Wanted: “Mad” Maude March
The notorious Maude March, reported to be just fifteen years of age, held up the Des Moines Savings and Trust on Friday morning. Eyewitnesses told authorities that she passed for a man and shot like an outlaw…
Eleven-year-old Sallie March is a whip-smart tomboy and voracious reader of Western adventure novels. When she and her sister, Maude, are orphaned for the second time, they decide to escape their new self-serving guardians for the wilds of the frontier and an adventure the likes of which Sallie has only read about.
This time, however, the villain Sallie’s reading about is her very own sister! And while life on the run is exciting, pretty soon the horse thieving and bank robbing and bandits are more than even Sallie bargained for.
A Junior Library Guild pick
A Booksense pick
“. . .laugh-out-loud hilarious. While this western at first seems a departure for Couloumbis, there are many similarities to Getting Near to Baby (1999) and Say Yes (2002). Her strong females are memorable, largely due to her perfect pitch in conveying their unique voices. Hard to put down, and a fun read-aloud.” – Starred review School Library Journal
“What a pleasure to read something just for the sheer fun of the storytelling. Sallie’s fresh and feisty voice, girls dressed as boys, an outlaw with a heart of gold, adventure and humor add up to great family entertainment.” – Kirkus
“. . .as full of wild escapades as the dime novels of old. . .equal doses of comedy and adventure, this western. . .is sure to rustle up a new herd of fans for Couloumbis.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“. . .the humor arises from the contrast between the sobriety of Sallie’s voice and the frenetic action. Readers will become deeply involved. . .drawn in by the sisters’ strong bond, their continuing bad luck, and hints of a potential romance.” – Horn Book
“Readers searching for a Wild West adventure with protofeminist flair will be swept along for the ride.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
National Parenting Publications Gold Award (NAPPA)