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The Outlaw

Written by Nancy Vo

  • 42 Pages
  • 9781773060163
  • 8.625" x 8.25 "
  • from grade 1 to grade 4
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Values



Publication Date May 01, 2018

In this spare and powerful story set in the Old West, people in a small town live in constant worry of another visit from the Outlaw. Then the Outlaw suddenly and mysteriously disappears. Time passes, and one day a stranger rides into town. He takes it upon himself to fix everything that is in disrepair — the clapboard schoolhouse, the train station platform. He even builds a horse trough. But when someone recognizes him as the Outlaw, the crowd turns on him. It takes the courage of a small boy to change the course of events …

The subtle, beautiful mixed-media art with its nineteenth-century textural references perfectly complements this original story from debut author and illustrator Nancy Vo.


Nancy Vo

Nancy Vo grew up where the sun rose in the prairies and set behind the Rockies. She graduated with degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts, joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and decided to be a picture-book maker. By day, she works as a facility planner where her colleagues politely tolerate her love of puns and argyle socks. At ungodly hours in the night, she gets to draw. The Outlaw is her first picture book.


"Vo provides readers with a picture-book Western that upends many of the genre's gunslinging shootout-and revenge-narrative tropes. . . . [A] spare, contemplative text." Horn Book

". . . the earth-toned illustrations created using ink, watercolor, and a unique technique of transferring and layering vintage news-paper clippings and fabric patterns from the 1850s and 1860s . . . add a layer of detail that helps immerse the reader in the stark prairie setting of the past." BayViews

"[A] beautiful, somber tale of making amends . . . Thoughtful readers are the audience for this stunning book, which will generate questions and conversation once the gorgeously created work is done." School Library Journal

"[A] thought-provoking tale." International Literacy Association

"Scraps of mid-19th-century newsprint are incorporated into Nancy Vo’s artwork for “The Outlaw” . . . subtly adding elegance and atmosphere to a picture-book story of wickedness and redemption." Wall Street Journal

"A powerful and profound message that makes this book appropriate for use with children/students at many ages/grade levels with many opportunities for discussion and application to “real life”." Resource Links

". . . bewitching . . . The most magical part of the book, illustrating Vo’s innate sense of story, is the separate tale of a child’s naughty behavior that is followed by connection and kindness." New York Times