A stranger rode out of the heart of the great glowing West, into the small Wyoming valley in the summer of 1889.

“He was clean shaven and his face was lean and hard and burned from high forehead to firm, tapering chin. His eyes seemed hooded in the shadow of the hat’s brim....The eyes were endlessly searching from side to side and forward, checking off every item in view, missing nothing.”

This was Shane, who appeared on the horizon and became a friend and guardian to the Starrett family at a time when homesteaders and cattle rangers battled for territory and survival. Jack Schaefer’s classic novel illuminates the spirit of the West through the eyes of a young boy and a hero who changes the lives of everyone around him. Renowned artist Wendell Minor provides stunning images and a moving introduction to this new edition of Shane, the ultimate tale of the Western landscape.



The cover illustration sets the stage - a lone rider on his horse travels a dirt road into a stark, compelling landscape, That rider is Shane; he is about to change the lives of a homesteader family - Joe Starrett, his wife Marian and their son, Bob. It is young Bob who first spots Shane as he nears their property, and the child finds him fascinating - “He rode easily...Yet even in this easiness was a suggestion of tension. It was the easiness of a coiled spring, of a trap set.” The Starrett family befriends Shane, and Bob’s father asks him to stay on as a hired hand. But he warns his son not to be come attached because some day Shane will move on. Schaeffer’s novel - his first - was published in 1949; this Wild West tale became a classic western movie. Afterward, Schaeffer adapted his novel for young readers. It is this adaptation that Wendell Minor illustrates with loving thoroughness. Minor visited Wyoming, consulted artist-cowboy friend Geoff Parker, studied early illustrators of Western genre such as N.C. Wyeth and Maynard Dixon for inspiration, even talked to Schaeffer’s son, Carl. Minor, in his moving introduction recalls that Schaeffer dedicated his novel “to Carl, my first son, my first book.” Wendell’s dedication is also to Carl Schaeffer. This book is a fine way to start - or renew - that 1950s addiction to the American cowboy. 2001 (orig. 1949), Wendell Minor/Houghton Mifflin, $22.00. Ages 12 and up.

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