Inspiring Young Readers

posted on 09 Mar 2019

Laura Norder: Sheriff of Butts Canyon by Guy Bass

When Ten Gun Ben rides into town intent on taking over from the sheriff, it looks as if Butts Canyon is in for some lawless times. Just as the sheriff is about to hand over his badge to the moustachioed ruffian, up steps the sheriff’s daughter, Laura Norder to put an abrupt halt to Ten Gun’s plans.

You see, Laura likes order and she especially likes RULES – and she’s got a lot of them. After she’s dispatched an embarrassed Ten Gun (he’s a bit of a softie really..), Laura takes on the job of being the sheriff despite being only 10 years old and turns Butts Canyon into her own personal domain.

At first the population of this little town are pleased to have some order in their lives but it isn’t long before Laura’s Golden Rules of behaviour start to rub some people up the wrong way. Then, one day, there’s open defiance – a red painted message appears in graffiti on the buildings and the roads which says ‘NO RULES’ and Laura is a little puzzled and more than a little furious. Who could possibly object to her benevolent dictatorship.

Well, we soon find out that the mystery perpetrator is a certain Duncan Disorderly – a man in black who, try as she might, Laura can’t track down and punish. When she eventually discovers who is behind the mask, Laura’s in for a shock – and I suspect you will be too.

No, don’t ask…I’m not telling.

Suffice it to say that Laura learns an important lesson about taking people with you when you want them to be on your side and to have a bit of humility when it comes to telling people how to live their lives.

Guy Bass has written a rootin’ tootin’, pun-laden book that parents and children will enjoy reading together – especially if you’re the type that like to put on a voice or two when you perform.

The book is in the Barrington Stoke ‘super readable’ series and, as always, has been designed to appeal to reluctant readers or those who might struggle with longer, more complex text. It’s also illustrated by Steve May who provides a perfect visualisation of the citizens of Butts Canyon.

Terry Potter

March 2019