In addition to our regular summer library programs for kids this week we’ll also have a visit from Milford Nature Center at a special time: 11:30 am on Tuesday June 16th. Call the library if you’d like to come.
Books set in the old west became popular starting in the 1940s as pulp novels, but became legitimate reading material as mainstream interest grew. Their popularity most likely peaked in the 1970s or 1980s, but westerns are still published, albeit at a slower pace, today. One of the most prolific writers of the subject is William W. Johnstone. Over his 25 years as a published author Mr. Johnstone is credited with over 320 books, nearly all of them in the western genre. In later years Mr. Johnstone’s nephew helped him with his research and writing, eventually taking over several of the western series after the author’s death in 2004.
Published this year, Smoke Jensen: The Beginning by William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone, tells the backstory of the patriarch to the Jensen family. The Jensen family is covered well in several other series by the author, but this is the first novel to focus on the young life of Kirby “Smoke” Jensen. Kirby was born to a hardscrabble Missouri ranching family in the mid-1800s and is a young man when the Civil War takes both older brothers and a father away from home. Violence reaches even his home, and Kirby joins Brigg’s Marauders. Even after the war the hard life isn’t over, and this book chronicles the change from boyhood innocence to a violent young adulthood that fosters a sense of justice in the young Smoke Jensen.
You can get the book reviewed here and more great titles to watch, read, listen to, or play with at the Port Library at 1718 N. Hersey in Beloit. This is director Rachel Malay, saying “Thanks for checking us out!”