Gisela Dixon Review

The Jesse James Scrapbook: Tales of Life on the Border by George Jansen is a historical fiction novel loosely based on the known events in the life of Jesse James, the notorious outlaw. The book is written in a diary format through the words and perspectives of various fictional characters. The book moves along fairly chronologically and each chapter is a snippet from the point of view of an onlooker, so to speak. For example, we read about a teacher's experiences of those times of slavery and post-Civil War violence and widespread segregation, or we hear from someone's experiences with Jesse himself or what they thought about him. Each chapter is fairly short and the book itself covers many of the known events in Jesse James's life including his younger years, his family background, his reputation at the time, the backdrop of slavery and lynchings and terror of those times that blacks lived with, involvement of the Pinkerton detective agency, robberies, and more.

The Jesse James Scrapbook: Tales of Life on the Border is a wellwritten book and was an enjoyable read. The book moves along at a fast pace and each chapter is filled with some new anecdote or event that keeps the narrative exciting. Although this is based on the life of Jesse James, the story is still a fictional narrative. There is no conclusion as such presented at the end of the book and it felt like it was left up to the reader to form their own conclusions about Jesse James. I felt that aspects of slavery and post-Civil War widespread discrimination and injustice against blacks are portrayed well through the short diaries or stories. This is a good read for fans of historical fiction.

Gisela Dixon reviewed for Readers' Vavorites


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