Rough, Tough Charley (Hardcover)

By Verla Kay, Adam Gustavson (Illustrator)

Tricycle Press, 9781582461847, 32pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2007

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Charley was rough.
Charley was tough.
Charley wore fancy blue gloves.

Charley Parkhurst always was more comfortable around horses than around humans. One of the most respected stagecoach drivers in the old West, Charley also kept one of the biggest secrets anyone could keep.

Now, through thrilling paintings and Verla Kay’s signature cryptic rhyme, readers are invited to explore an amazing real life, lived without limits.

About the Author

Author Verla Kay writes historical picturebooks in a special kind of poetry she calls "cryptic rhyme."This is her eighth book for children, two of which have been named Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People by the Children's Book Council, and many of which have received starred reviews from "Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal," and others. She and her husband, Terry, live in a little farming town in eastern Washington.

Adam Gustavson spent a whole lot of time doing research for this book, visiting horse farms and snuggling in with a stack of Old West books he's had since second grade. He is a professional illustrator living in New Jersey with his wife, two sons, and an acute horse allergy. This is his eleventh book for children.

Praise For Rough, Tough Charley

Amelia Bloomer Project selection
2008 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, NCSS-CBC

"Kay's strict meter keeps Charley's inner thoughts at a distance from the readers, so that Charley effectively holds onto her secret until the book's end....Gustavson's lush, realistic oil illustrations are a lavish counterpoint (and) are suffused with the romance and roughness of a bygone era."
- STARRED review, Publishers Weekly

"The illustrations make excellent use of perspective to involve readers in the story and create a fitting counterpoint to the spare narrative." - School Library Journal