A little-known but fascinating and larger-than-life character, Mary Fields is one of the unsung, trailblazing African American women who helped settle the American West. A former slave, Fields became the first African American woman stagecoach driver in 1895, when, in her 60s, she beat out all the cowboys applying for the job by being the fastest to hitch a team of six horses. She won the dangerous and challenging job, and for many years traveled the badlands with her pet eagle, protecting the mail from outlaws and wild animals, never losing a single horse or package.
Fields helped pave the way for other women and people of color to become stagecoach drivers and postal workers. In this action-packed picture book biography of Fields, author Tami Charles explores the details that are known about this trailblazing woman — and, in an author's note, explains what details weren't recorded, inviting kids to think about who and what gets included in the history we read.
"Charles does a fine job of shaping a suspenseful story from few historical details, inventing some dialogue and rearranging the timeline a bit, as she describes in her author’s note. From the moment Mary rides into town, readers will be hooked.... A wild ride through an impressive bit of history." — Kirkus Reviews
|5 - 9
|Jan 1, 2019
|Albert Whitman & Company
|She Made History