Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wyoming Statehood

On this day in 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state. To celebrate, we're highlighting books set in the Cowboy State!


Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II by Eric L. Muller, photographs by Bill Manbo. Manbo lived in Hollywood until he was sent to Heart Mountain, a Japanese Internement camp in Wyoming. Color photography was relatively technology, but Manbo used it to capture daily life at the camp.

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman. The brutal murder of Matthew Shepard took place at the beginning of Gay Awareness Week at the University of Wyoming. Newman was on campus, a guest speaker for her earlier work, Heather Has Two Mommies. This verse novel follows many different prospectives that night-- Matthew's, his murderers', even the fence's.

Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell. Gen's stuck with her family at a frontier camp outside of Laramie, where they have to live like it's 1890. Gen's managed to sneak in a cell phone, so she can text her friends, who turn her words into a blog that goes viral.


Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. Clara's part angel and when she starts receiving divine visions of fire. She and her mother realize the fire she's seeing is a forest fire outside of Jackson. They move there to fulfill her destiny, but beyond location, she's not sure what she's supposed to do next. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Hallowed.

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard. Grace feels trapped in her small Wyoming town, longing to be like wild and carefree Mandarin. When they become friends, Grace's world opens up, but she discovers that her idea of Mandarin doesn't meet the reality.

Shane by Jack Schaefer. Although this classic was published for adults, it's a teen favorite, helped by the fact it's narrated by a young person. Bob's family is homesteading in Wyoming, but rancher Fletcher wants Bob's family and the other homesteaders out. When Shane rides into town and helps Bob's family around the farm, they just might have a chance against Fletcher, at at survival.

Ashfall by Mike Mullin. In Yellowstone, there is a caldera, a supervolcano. It has erupted before. It will again. Mullin imagines what will happen when it erupts, as Alex is home alone in Iowa and must try to find his family in a devastated landscape populated by desperate people. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Ashen Winter.

What are your favorite Wyoming stories?

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