The Virginian by Owen Wister (1902)

The Virginian (never named) is a tall, handsome loner from — you guessed it — Virginia.  He’s left the East Coast to live a new, free kind of life in the Wild West of Wyoming in the 1800s.  Hard work and integrity guide his every action as he tends to the endless duties as foreman of Judge Henry’s massive cattle ranch.  The Virginian encounters liars, thieves, cheats, lazy cowhands — and the pretty school teacher from Vermont!  He is a perfect gentleman in every situation.  Indeed, he is the original “strong, silent type.”

Virginian.jpgThe Virginian is considered by most to be the first Western Novel ever written.

This book is a real page turner!  I remember taking it to every event I attended for a week or so, hoping for a spare moment so I could pull it out and read even a couple more pages.  It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Owen Wister and Teddy Roosevelt were close, life-long friends!  I think, just maybe, President Roosevelt longed to be the real Virginian!

I grew up watching re-runs of the television series The Virginian in the 1970’s.  There are also three films based on this book, the first movie was filmed in 1929 (starring Gary Cooper), the second in 1946 and most recently in 2000 starring Bill Pullman and Diane Lane.

High School Reading Level, 454 Pages, Western Novel, Books for Boys, Published in 1902.

About kidsbooksworthreading

Are you looking for Children’s and Young Adult books that have stood the test of time? I have a master of list of over 600 titles to share. I’m an English major, mother of five and homeschooler for 15 years. My purpose with this blog is to share forgotten favorites that most parents today have never heard of, but are so worth reading! I hope you’ll join with me as I share the best that Youth Literature has to offer.
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