Welcome to Western Writers of America’s first anthology for young readers. In this collection of true tales of the West, we leave textbook history in the rearview mirror and take you on a tour of twenty seldom-told dramas, the kind you might stumble across only if you leave the main road to wander the detours and byways of the American story. Here you’ll meet extraordinary characters, from a young buffalo hunter of prehistoric times to riders for the Pony Express, the first African American female stagecoach driver, and the Navajo code talkers of World War II. Did you know that in 1821, a Plains Indian girl trekked 1,400 miles to visit Washington, DC? Or that two brave children, eight and ten years old, took part in the Texas Revolution? Tales in this anthology range wide in time, topic, and mood, yet all celebrate a spirit that is uniquely Western.
Founded in 1953, Western Writers of America is the nation’s oldest and most distinguished organization of professionals writing about the early frontier and the American West, its past and present. Now in our sixty-eighth year, our more than seven hundred members write fiction and nonfiction, songs, poetry, short stories, plays for stage and screen, and more. The contributors to this anthology, WWA members all, include bestselling authors and winners of numerous prestigious literary awards.
With Why Cows Need Cowboys, we invite you to journey westward with us, and we hope you enjoy the ride.
With more than 650 members including Anne Hillerman, Kirk Ellis, Craig Johnson, and Sandra Dallas, the sixty-year-old Western Writers of America has members all over the United States writing in genres from traditional western fiction to suspense to academic nonfiction. The contributing writers for this anthology represent award-winning experts from a variety of genres.
Editor Nancy Plain is an award-winning writer of biographies and histories for readers of all ages. Rocky Gibbons writes the “Big Buckaroo” series of children’s books.
"Amazing short stories! I don't believe there is a bad one in the bunch. I really love short stories as I can enjoy them when I only have a few moments to spare. These range from the tribal, to the historical, fiction to fact. began browsing them and ended up just reading through! Really great writing and thoroughly engaging. Kudos to all!"
-Catherine Hankins, NetGalley Review
NetGalley Review: 5 stars
Updated 29 Jan 2021
"A interesting look into cowboys, stories of the wildwest, and so many more characters. It is a great collection of stories with photos and just perfect for anyone interested in the wildwest!!
"*Thanks Netgalley and Rowman & Littlefield for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*"
— Ashley Dang, Reviewer at Ash-in-Books
NetGalley Review: 4 stars
Updated 20 Feb 2021
"Great collection of stories and images to bring the Wild West alive for kids. There is a wide variety of stories and everyone is sure to find one they enjoyed.
"Thank you NetGalley and Two Dot for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy."
— Teresa Grabs, Blogger
Updated 24 Feb 2021
"Why Cows Need Cowboys is a selection of short stories about the West for children.
"I enjoyed the majourity of these stories. A few were just not for me. I think young readers would find this more interesting than reading a history book. I liked the variety of lengths in the short stories. These could be a fun read before bed or just for one on one time with you child.
"I think an adult version of this book would be cool as well.
"I received an eARC from Rowman & LIttlefield through NetGalley. All opinions are 100% my own."
— Sara Hill, Reviewer at Widgetsticks/Hallelujah Hill