A quick mid-week post to tell you the Pony Express Re-Ride begins today! The 1,966-mile journey starts in Sacramento, California at 3:00pm and will end in St. Jospeh, Missouri on 30 June at 8:30pm.
The Pony Express
Ride On, Will Cody! has started its journey as a real, live book. As I’ve shared the topic of my latest story with readers young and old, I’ve been met with enthusiasm for all things Pony Express. Here are some resources that might be of interest to the readers in your life.
articles and events
Death-Defying Riders of the Pony Express :: True West Magazine
10 Things You May Not Know About the Pony Express :: History.com
Follow the Ride from California to Missouri! :: National Pony Express Association
“Ride” along via GPS!
picture books about the Pony Express
Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, MO
Museums along the trail, from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA
A list of monuments and museums, compiled by the National Pony Express Association
William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill)
Likewise, readers have expressed interest in America’s greatest showman, Buffalo Bill. Here are some places you can learn more:
Candace Fleming Tames the Wild West :: Bookology
Top Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Buffalo Bill :: Yellowstone Country
Buffalo Bill Cultural Center in Oakley, KS
Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY
Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, CO
children’s books about Buffalo Bill
Please let me know if you come across anything to add to this list!
This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll get a small percentage if you click through and purchase. Thanks for supporting this site.
Albuquerque friends, I’d love to see you Saturday, October 14, for my Ride On, Will Cody! launch party. Come learn about the Pony Express and Buffalo Bill, play some games, hear the story, and munch on a horse cookie or two.
If you can’t attend but would like a signed book, you can order through Bookworks.
I hope to see you there!
— Joe Lillington (@LillingtonJoe) October 6, 2017
Here’s a roundup of Ride On, Will Cody! and Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine goodies that might interest you. I’ve included snippets from each and encourage you to click through to read or listen to more. Enjoy!
This week I am welcoming to the show Caroline Starr Rose – author of the recently released middle grade historical adventure Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine. We chat about the inspirations behind her latest novel, encouraging kids to read more, and we reminisce about Little House on the Prairie.
Caroline Starr Rose is back, and she’s joining me today to talk about her historical fiction, plus she’s sharing inspiration for young authors and tips for introducing novels in verse to our kids.
interviews and guest posts
Caroline Starr Rose: An On-Going Private Conversation :: Sharing Our Notebooks
I write historical fiction, so the idea of keeping a notebook to gather my research and questions about a new project isn’t a new one. But over the years my notebooks have expanded into something other than just a collection of historical tidbits. They’ve become an on-going private conversation where I can noncommittally explore the fragile beginnings of a new idea or work out troublesome knots once the story’s under way.
Q and A with Caroline Starr Rose :: Albert Whitman blog
What makes your book stand out?
There are a handful wonderful picture books about the Pony Express — They’re Off!: The Story of the Pony Express, Whatever Happened to the Pony Express, and Off Like the Wind: The First Ride of the Pony Express come to mind. I wanted to write a book that went beyond the history and created an experience, that thrust the reader right into the ride alongside Will Cody. I hope readers feel energy, surprise, fatigue, and courage in the rhythm and movement of the words and art as they turn each page.
Getting to Know Caroline Starr Rose :: The Deliberate Reader
Has being a writer changed you as a reader?
Oh, yes. I used to be quite the reading snob (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But the longer I’ve written, the more I’ve learned to appreciate books that I might not have picked up fifteen or twenty years ago. I think knowing the hard work that goes into writing has both broadened my taste and shown me plenty to admire in the books I’ve read. I’m constantly impressed with the way other authors tell a story through their choices with plot, structure, form, and point of view.
Bringing History to Life: Ride On, Will Cody! :: The Deliberate Reader
Can you tell us about the upcoming book?
Ride on, Will Cody! is a picture book about the third-longest ride in Pony Express history. According to legend, young Will Cody (later America’s greatest showman, Buffalo Bill) rode for the Pony Express at the age of fifteen. He claimed to have covered 322 miles in under twenty-two hours on a ride that required twenty-one horses. I should add that while most historians now believe Cody didn’t ride for the Pony Express, he no doubt had a huge influence on America’s collective memory of the eighteen-month venture through the reenactments he later included in his Wild West show. On a personal note, I’ve decided even if the story of his ride is more legend than truth, it still embodies the courage of the young men who rode for the Pony Express and gives a sense of Cody’s big, bold character. That’s enough for me.
Ride On, Will Cody! is an in-the-moment adventure as boy and horse (and reader) hit the trail together. I’m so happy readers will soon be able to jump in!
Friend Friday: Caroline Starr Rose :: Kirby Larsen
Ride On, Will Cody! languished for years on submission. I had plenty of time to wonder if the book was over and done with. Dead on arrival. Not. Gonna. Happen.
But this story about resolve and a long, long ride wasn’t finished yet. I asked my agent to try one more editor. Months passed. I finally let myself grieve. The story just wasn’t meant to be.
And then. (You know you want to click through to learn more!)
Coming October 12: An Interview with Caroline Starr Rose :: Falling Leaflets
Writing about historical figures can be daunting. What advice would you give writers who are looking to represent a person from history with limited text and just 32 pages to work with?
Go deep rather than wide. A historical picture book isn’t meant to cover everything in a character’s life. Pick a moment and shine a light on the character’s response to the event. Show us her bravery or his curiosity, her commitment or his determination. Let us live the moment right alongside the character. Leave us feeling as if we’ve been there!
Have you seen it, the new cover I quietly added to my website a few weeks ago? If not, here it is in all its glory.
Isn’t it wonderful? The color palette and and energy are perfect. If you look closely, you’ll see Will has a small mole on his cheek, just like the real Will Cody.
Ride On, Will Cody! gallops into the world in early October. To that I say yee-haw!