Addie Slaughter: The Girl Who Met Geronimo
Written by Susan L. Krueger
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it was really like to live in the Old West, read this book about Addie Slaughter. She was born in the early 1880’s in Texas and lived in many places in the western part of the country before settling around Tombstone, Arizona. The family moved from Texas to Arizona to Oregon and back to Arizona. Written in first person, the text uses a lot of sensory detail to convey the story. For example, Addie describes the cold and wet snow while riding in a wagon. She talks about the smell of the buffalo robe they used to keep out that cold. She also describes the rubble created by the adobe bricks in an earthquake. Addie lost her mother to smallpox when she was only five. Her stepmother, Viola Slaughter, was known to her as “Mama.” Viola is an especially lively character, changing from a timid young woman to an accomplished nurse to all sorts of ailments. Addie’s father was the Tombstone sheriff known for taming Cochise County. Addie was honored to receive a necklace from Geronimo shortly after his capture.
This book is recommended for fourth grade reading and is appropriate as a read aloud for younger students. Reading activities are discussed extensively in the curriculum guide provided with the book and written by a reading specialist. She discusses the aids to comprehension available. The book’s author did a tremendous amount of research, consulting historians and letters written by the characters. Supported as part of the Arizona Centennial Legacy Project of the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission, this is a great addition to children’s literature. More information is available at the commission’s website (www.azcentennial.gov).