Title: Stagecoach Sal
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrator: Carson Ellis
Publisher: Disney - Hyperion Books
Concepts: jobs, public services, economics of gender
Review: Sal had enjoyed riding the shotgun seat of the stagecoach with her father since she was knee high to a grasshopper. As she grew older, Sal longed to take the reins herself. Her chance came sooner than anyone expected when Pa had a nasty encounter with a nest of hornets. Although Ma worried that Sal would be delivering mail that night all by herself with bandits on the loose, Sal reassured her that even the worst of the bandits, Poetic Pete, was no match for her roping, riding, and shooting skills. With all those letters filled with gold nuggets, it would take these talents, and more, for Sal to outsmart Poetic Pete and deliver the mail safely.
Based on a true story about the first and possibly only female postal carrier who rode a stagecoach in California, the light-hearted text and classic illustrations should appeal to a large range of young readers. Teachers and parents can use Stagecoach Sal to frame a discussion about important concepts in economics, including jobs and public services, in an interesting historical context.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children