Parents' Guide to

P.K. Pinkerton and the Deadly Desperados: P.K. Pinkerton, Book 1

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Tween boy hunts killers in funny, violent Wild West saga.

P.K. Pinkerton and the Deadly Desperados: P.K. Pinkerton, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Hilarious, with lots of violence ( what can you expect from a Wild West Civil War-era book) and a smattering of gore

This book is highly educational, as you get to see the world through the eyes of 12-year-old P.K.Pinkerton. One of his penchants in "his" writing is thinking about what he is going to say and then saying the exact same thing (a running gag in the series). Granted, there is quite a bit of violence (barroom shootouts, stabbings, shootings, falls to death in a mine, a girls throats slit) and some gory detail (Whittling Walt cuts off a mans pinky finger, with some blood, and there is talk about him whittling pieces off of victims while they're still alive, and while quoting Walt Whitman). There are repeated references to Soiled Doves, and some sneaky innuendos, including a mention of two people bouncing on a bed (P.K. doesn't understand and proceeds to say that his mother wouldn't be proud of them breaking the bed. Some laughs there). He mentions people swearing, though he writes it with dashes. Overall, a great book, that produces lots of belly laughs, but some iffy stuff (though the violence is mostly cartoonish, with bonks on the head by frying pans, for example).

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

This weird, exciting, and funny Wild West mystery isn't for every kid, but will be irresistible to many. Author Caroline Lawrence (born in Bakersfield, California, and now living in London) previously wrote a bestselling mystery series set in ancient Rome that became a BBC TV series, she clearly has a near-gleeful fondness for historical detail and finds plenty of creative ways to present it in P.K. PINKERTON AND THE DEADLY DESPERADOS. She also creates a distinctive character and narrative voice in P.K.

While the historically accurate setting and Lawrence's narrative skill will give readers an unusually vivid, personal -- and memorable -- knowledge of the period, parents will need to decide whether it's appropriate for their kids, as drunkenness, opium addiction, robbery, brawling, racial discrimination, prostitution, and murder are regular features.

Book Details

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