‘The Case of the Deadly Desperados’ by Caroline Lawrence is a book that is both different and cleverly written for middle grade readers.
The year is 1862, and a half-Indian (the term Native American wasn’t in use back then) boy, P. K. Pinkerton, finds his foster parents cruelly murdered upon his return from school in the small Nevada town of Temperance, founded by his foster father, a pastor. He escapes to Virginia City, a notorious mining town in Nevada.
The story is preposterous and extraordinarily entertaining. It is told in first person narrative with P.K. telling the story by writing it on the pages of a ledger from the bottom of a mine while waiting for Whittlin Walt to come and kill him.
Whittlin Walt (a wicked and much-feared desperado -- he whittles pieces off of people before he kills them quoting Walt Whitman as he does it) is after P.K. because of a deed that was given to him by his presumed-deceased father.
Read the whole review at: http://www.examiner.com/book-in-national/review-of-the-case-of-the-deadly-desperados-by-caroline-lawrence-review