They're Off! : The Story of the Pony Express

by Cheryl Harness

Other authorsCheryl Harness (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2002



Local notes

383 Har





Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2002), 32 pages


Relates the history of the Pony Express from when it began to carry messages across the American West in April 1860 until the telegraph replaced it in October 1861.


Great Reads from Great Places (Missouri — 2010)


Original language


Physical description

11 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member MattRaygun
This book is a non-fiction picture story book presented in an engaging narrative sequence told from the beginnings of cross-country mail routes to the end of the Pony Express and beginning of the telegraph.

The illustrations are lively and colorfully show the culture and dangers surrounding the
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riders of the Pony Express.

The book includes: a seperate page with important happenings during the time of the P.E., a bibliography for further reading and sources, and finally a map with the names of every single PE station that the riders used.

Certain tales of the riders in this book are obviously dramatized and the veracity of each is as difficult to prove as one of Buffalo Bill's stories.

From the beginning of the book's inset, the author sets a tone of historical fact blended with an upbeat narrative style she hopes will engage the readers.

The book is recommended for children aged 6-11.
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LibraryThing member kloupe1
This is a great and adventurous story about the pony express and what it took back in the day to receive and send messages. The pictures in this book can tell the story itself; they are great- vivid, detailed, true and emotional.Today, we take mailing for granted because it is so easy, back in the
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day, it was not so. This book can be used with a history lesson about transportation or the history of mail.
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LibraryThing member Mwbordel
They're Off! is a great story about Early America expending west. As the nation developed and expanded. The United States faced the challenges of communicating between settlers on the east coast and explorers on the west coast. The U.S. Mail took approximately three weeks to cross the country
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through the Southern Route. Deciding that something needed to be done, William Russell, Alexander Majors and William Bradford Waddell began The Pony Express. The Pony Express became the most dangerous and fastest way to get mail from one side of the country to the other. Pony Express riders were the subject of many amazing tales about bravery and escaping danger. This book would be excellent for a Social Studies lesson on America expanding west.
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LibraryThing member BJPetrie
This book was interesting, but the layout was a bit hard to follow, with text jumping about, and large "inforgraphic" style maps and other images. I'm sure this flows better for younger readers, but as an older reader, I am used to my vision flowing across the page in an orderly manner. The content
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was great. I've always know the Pony Express existed, but never knew much of the details. Having read this, I can see where Terry Pratchett got the idea for pats of the story in his novel Going Postal.
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½ (8 ratings; 3.8)
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