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THE RAVEN LEAGUE: BUFFALO BILL WANTED!


By Alex Simmons and Bill McCay

Sleuth/Razorbill (a member of Penguin Group), 2007 ($10.99)

Ages 10 and up; 5th grade and up
ISBN 1-59514-073-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-59514-073-9

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

The city of London is celebrating Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, and all kinds of exciting activities are going on.Young Archie Wiggins and his cohorts in the Raven League are desperate to see Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, but they've only managed to raise the bus fare to get there.Using their ingenuity and the threatened rampage of a gigantic buffalo, they manage to sneak onto the grounds.They are discovered, but before they can be summarily ousted by a gruff cowboy, the star of the show rescues them and gives them a private tour.Pretty soon they are all the best of friends.The English have never seen such exotic sights as Red Indians, cowboys, Mexicans, and Bill puts on a good show.Most of the locals love it, but there is a faction that rejects America and everything it stands for, seeing it as a corrupting influence.

When a policeman is badly beaten and maimed, all evidence points to one of Bill's Indian performers.A lynch mob is soon on his trail, stirred up by a rabble-rousing M. P., J. Montague Pryke.The Raven League doesn't believe the Indian is guilty, and they decide to ask their mentor, Sherlock Holmes, for help. Unfortunately, he and Dr. Watson are in Scotland. The League members decide to go it on their own, with some help from Bill and a sort-of sympathetic policeman.

This is the second book in the Raven League series.In the first book, SHERLOCK HOLMES IS MISSING!, the League was formed and Sherlock was rescued.The books provide an interesting look at English history from a child's perspective, and gives children of today an interesting look at how life was for disadvantaged kids in Victorian times.


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