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Top Secret Files: The Wild West: Secrets, Strange Tales, and Hidden Facts about the Wild West

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Bandits, lawmen, six shooters, bank robberies, and cowboys were all a part of the Wild West. But so were camels, buried treasure, and gun-slinging dentists. Dive into strange tales like the mysterious Cave of Gold, filled with ancient skeletons, and Rattle Snake Dick's lost fortune. Discover the truth about notorious legends like Jesse James, Buffalo Bill, former spy-turne Bandits, lawmen, six shooters, bank robberies, and cowboys were all a part of the Wild West. But so were camels, buried treasure, and gun-slinging dentists. Dive into strange tales like the mysterious Cave of Gold, filled with ancient skeletons, and Rattle Snake Dick's lost fortune. Discover the truth about notorious legends like Jesse James, Buffalo Bill, former spy-turned-bandit Belle Star, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Then, learn why it's unlucky to have a dead man's hand when playing cards and how to talk like a real cowpoke. It’s all part of the true stories from the Top Secret Files: The Wild West. Take a look if you dare, but be careful! Some secrets are meant to stay hidden...


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Bandits, lawmen, six shooters, bank robberies, and cowboys were all a part of the Wild West. But so were camels, buried treasure, and gun-slinging dentists. Dive into strange tales like the mysterious Cave of Gold, filled with ancient skeletons, and Rattle Snake Dick's lost fortune. Discover the truth about notorious legends like Jesse James, Buffalo Bill, former spy-turne Bandits, lawmen, six shooters, bank robberies, and cowboys were all a part of the Wild West. But so were camels, buried treasure, and gun-slinging dentists. Dive into strange tales like the mysterious Cave of Gold, filled with ancient skeletons, and Rattle Snake Dick's lost fortune. Discover the truth about notorious legends like Jesse James, Buffalo Bill, former spy-turned-bandit Belle Star, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Then, learn why it's unlucky to have a dead man's hand when playing cards and how to talk like a real cowpoke. It’s all part of the true stories from the Top Secret Files: The Wild West. Take a look if you dare, but be careful! Some secrets are meant to stay hidden...

50 review for Top Secret Files: The Wild West: Secrets, Strange Tales, and Hidden Facts about the Wild West

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kim Piddington

    I have read several books in this series and this is one of my favorites. Non-fiction text reads like fiction-sure to hook the middle grade reader. Full of recipes, activities, and fun facts. A "must have" for school and classroom libraries. I have read several books in this series and this is one of my favorites. Non-fiction text reads like fiction-sure to hook the middle grade reader. Full of recipes, activities, and fun facts. A "must have" for school and classroom libraries.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    So apparently this is a kids' series? I am just now discovering this from Goodreads. Really I should've known it from the cover. Anyway, it's a pretty neat series, as near as I can tell from this one example. The full title is Top Secret Files: The Wild West: Secrets, Strange Tales, and Hidden Facts about the Wild West, and it really does live up to the title, insofar as books aimed at children usually are. There were even a few stories I hadn't heard, like the one about Rattlesnake Dick's lost f So apparently this is a kids' series? I am just now discovering this from Goodreads. Really I should've known it from the cover. Anyway, it's a pretty neat series, as near as I can tell from this one example. The full title is Top Secret Files: The Wild West: Secrets, Strange Tales, and Hidden Facts about the Wild West, and it really does live up to the title, insofar as books aimed at children usually are. There were even a few stories I hadn't heard, like the one about Rattlesnake Dick's lost fortune (though I admit to giggling for a few minutes at the gentleman's moniker; in some ways I am not more than twelve). Then there's stories like the camels in Arizona and the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine, stories adults might know but kids don't. The book also pauses between its pseudo-chapters to suggest activities for readers that connect with whatever it was just talking about. For example, the activity after the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine has to do with making treasure maps. They feel kinda... misaimed? Like they seem a bit simple for the ages the book seems to be aimed at. So I downgraded it a bit for those. Still, it seems like a fun book that kids might enjoy, particularly if they're not big history buffs.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Archer

    Camels pulling covered wagons? Vinegar pie!? From cattle drives to shoot-outs, readers will be drawn in by the many interesting details about life in the early days of the west in TOP SECRET FILES: THE WILD WEST. Having grown up playing cowboys and cowgirls, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the facts behind the fiction of the ‘wild west.’ Young cowpokes will learn the ‘Cowboy Code’ and have fun trying out their own cowboy skills. They'll read about the 'good guys' as well as some of the more ruthles Camels pulling covered wagons? Vinegar pie!? From cattle drives to shoot-outs, readers will be drawn in by the many interesting details about life in the early days of the west in TOP SECRET FILES: THE WILD WEST. Having grown up playing cowboys and cowgirls, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the facts behind the fiction of the ‘wild west.’ Young cowpokes will learn the ‘Cowboy Code’ and have fun trying out their own cowboy skills. They'll read about the 'good guys' as well as some of the more ruthless outlaws. And they’ll discover why the cook was one of the most important members of the cattle team. Then they might even solve the mystery of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine! Educator, writer and history detective Stephanie Bearce did a superb job researching the lives of cowboys and life in the days of the wild west. And her spirited writing brings it all to life. So pull on your boots and hang onto your hats! Then sit down and enjoy the next exciting Top Secret Files book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Nitz

    The Wild West stretched from Montana and South Dakota all the way down to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Because this huge region was so sparsely populated and law enforcement couldn’t police every corner, cowboys developed their codes and towns like Tombstone would hire gunfighters to protect the streets. This Top Secret title keeps its promise of sharing strange tales and hidden facts, showing how the Wild West was a place of risk and opportunity where former slaves had the chance to be judged The Wild West stretched from Montana and South Dakota all the way down to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Because this huge region was so sparsely populated and law enforcement couldn’t police every corner, cowboys developed their codes and towns like Tombstone would hire gunfighters to protect the streets. This Top Secret title keeps its promise of sharing strange tales and hidden facts, showing how the Wild West was a place of risk and opportunity where former slaves had the chance to be judged on their abilities and women would sometimes take to cattle rustling as a way to save their families’ spreads. On top of it all, I learned how to read cowboy brands from Flying P’s to Lazy E’s. I gave this book five stars not because I think it's one of the classics of Western literature, but because it accomplishes what it set out to do: engage young readers with some interesting aspects of history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christina Schmidt

    Stephanie Bearce’s “Top Secret Files” series proves just how interesting history can be. These books are jam-packed with fascinating facts that will inform and entertain any age. This latest installment gives the real stories behind such legends as Buffalo Bill, Butch Cassidy, and OSU’s mascot Pistol Pete. It explains the purpose behind traditional cowboy garb, details the Pony Express, and describes the Army’s experimental use of camels to help settle the west. Each section includes hands-on act Stephanie Bearce’s “Top Secret Files” series proves just how interesting history can be. These books are jam-packed with fascinating facts that will inform and entertain any age. This latest installment gives the real stories behind such legends as Buffalo Bill, Butch Cassidy, and OSU’s mascot Pistol Pete. It explains the purpose behind traditional cowboy garb, details the Pony Express, and describes the Army’s experimental use of camels to help settle the west. Each section includes hands-on activites (“Cowpoke Practice”). Readers can design their own brand, try out Chuck Wagon recipes, and learn to lasso. Chapters are short and direct, and often include links to online material, plus numerous reference materials if readers wish to delve deeper into a subject. TOP SECRET FILES: THE WILD WEST is an excellent addition to any home or classroom library!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Downey

    I received a copy of this book through goodreads giveaways. This does not influence my review in any way. This is the second of the Top Secret Files books that I've read and I loved it. This book is a fun way to incorporate history into pleasure reading. I shared this book with my kid brother (10) and he is thoroughly enjoying it as well. I was learning things I never knew before and brushed up on some things from my school days. I've said it before but I strongly believe this book is perfect fo I received a copy of this book through goodreads giveaways. This does not influence my review in any way. This is the second of the Top Secret Files books that I've read and I loved it. This book is a fun way to incorporate history into pleasure reading. I shared this book with my kid brother (10) and he is thoroughly enjoying it as well. I was learning things I never knew before and brushed up on some things from my school days. I've said it before but I strongly believe this book is perfect for the classroom. It would also be a good addition to any MG homeschoolers as well. Or if you just want to get your facts in a fun format, then this is for you. There are even lots of interesting recipes to try as a family. I hope to read more of these Top Secret Files books by Stephanie Bearce in the future!

  7. 4 out of 5

    American Mensa

    This is a nonfiction book, with many tales of the Wild West. However, it can get repetitive at times, as several stories within it are basically identical. Included are Buffalo Bill, the Sundance Kid and Pistol Pete. I personally liked the activities included and the history within. Activities include making treasure maps and designing era-fitting symbols. I would recommend it for 9-12, as there is lots of violence and other scary things not meant for youngest children, but it is short and too s This is a nonfiction book, with many tales of the Wild West. However, it can get repetitive at times, as several stories within it are basically identical. Included are Buffalo Bill, the Sundance Kid and Pistol Pete. I personally liked the activities included and the history within. Activities include making treasure maps and designing era-fitting symbols. I would recommend it for 9-12, as there is lots of violence and other scary things not meant for youngest children, but it is short and too simple for teenagers. It has interesting facts that you probably wouldn’t know. Overall, it is a decent read if you aren’t interested in the Wild West, and a good one if you are. Review by J B, age 13, LA Mensa

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. Great little book. Hits all of the highlights of the heyday of the Wild West and gives a concise, yet thorough, synopsis of each of the Wild West headliners as well as some relatively unknowns. Geared for middle school aged readers, but is intelligently written and serious without being stuffy. Brings the days of Buffalo Bill and Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid to life with fun facts as well as background history. Some of the little known facts are obscure I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. Great little book. Hits all of the highlights of the heyday of the Wild West and gives a concise, yet thorough, synopsis of each of the Wild West headliners as well as some relatively unknowns. Geared for middle school aged readers, but is intelligently written and serious without being stuffy. Brings the days of Buffalo Bill and Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid to life with fun facts as well as background history. Some of the little known facts are obscure, but interesting nonetheless. A fact-filled little book. Well done!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This was a LibraryThing giveaway. I love Stephanie Bearce’s books because even though they’re geared for kids adults can learn a lot from them as well. The well-known characters are present, in this case Western legends, but there are also Pistol Pete, Stagecoach Mary, Cathay Williams, and Bass Reeves who was the basis for the Lone Ranger. There are also the interactive sections of her books. In this one you can create your own brand, make your own chuck wagon grub, or practice roping a broomsti This was a LibraryThing giveaway. I love Stephanie Bearce’s books because even though they’re geared for kids adults can learn a lot from them as well. The well-known characters are present, in this case Western legends, but there are also Pistol Pete, Stagecoach Mary, Cathay Williams, and Bass Reeves who was the basis for the Lone Ranger. There are also the interactive sections of her books. In this one you can create your own brand, make your own chuck wagon grub, or practice roping a broomstick. It’s just a fun well-researched book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lori Galaske

    This was such a fun book to read! The stories are fresh, informative, and well written. This isn't boring history. It's history-come-to-life. Plus it has Wild West recipes and activities for the kids! This was such a fun book to read! The stories are fresh, informative, and well written. This isn't boring history. It's history-come-to-life. Plus it has Wild West recipes and activities for the kids!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lylah Day

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jason W. Matthews

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Crabbiepotamus

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Hodgson

  16. 5 out of 5

    April Lowe

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alan Porter

  19. 5 out of 5

    Demi

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicki Jacobsmeyer

  21. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  22. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sangeeta

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trica Johnson

  26. 5 out of 5

    June

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Cole Marie Mckinnon

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Summey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bob Dandeneau

  31. 4 out of 5

    Melinda M

  32. 4 out of 5

    Coleen

  33. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

  34. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Obrien

  35. 4 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  36. 4 out of 5

    Eddy Bryant

  37. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  38. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Schwarzer

  39. 5 out of 5

    Cori

  40. 4 out of 5

    Todd Rumsey

  41. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  42. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  43. 5 out of 5

    MIPat

  44. 5 out of 5

    Mac

  45. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  46. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Crawley

  47. 5 out of 5

    Francie Grice

  48. 4 out of 5

    Felina

  49. 4 out of 5

    Joy Adams

  50. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

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