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Young Adult Fiction Canada

Shadow Riders

by (author) B.J. Bayle

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Jul 2010
Canada, Aboriginal & Indigenous, Horses
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2010
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2010
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 15
  • Grade: 4
  • Reading age: 12 to 15


In 1874, after their father is wounded by hard men who have stolen a number of mares and Smokey, a prized stallion, sixteen-year-old Rob McCann and his adopted Native brother, Luke, ride frantically to Fort Ellice, Manitoba, in the vain expectation that the horse rustlers have stopped there. Learning that a new force called the North-West Mounted Police has come west, the brothers continue south to locate them and ask for help.

The NWMP commander, Colonel George French, desperately attempts to have the boys escorted home. However, the brothers manage to tag along on the eight-hundred-mile march of NWMP men and wagons headed for Fort Whoop-Up, in what will one day be Alberta, with the hope that they will catch up with the thieves.

Besides the terrible life-threatening hardships brought on by bad weather and brutal terrain, Rob worries about his mother and wounded father and fears he might even lose Luke and never find Smokey or the other horses.

About the author

B.J. Bayle's Battle Cry at Batoche, her bestselling novel about the North-West Rebellion in 1885, was a Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, while Perilous Passage, her novel about explorer and mapmaker David Thompson, was nominated for a 2009 Red Maple Award and was a Children's Book Centre Best Book. She lives in Cochrane, Alberta, near Calgary.

B.J. Bayle's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Shadow Riders is an excellent novel, full of adventure, hardship and plenty of fascinating details about life in early Canada. Readers [] are sure to enjoy Shadow Riders brisk pacing, rich characterization, and seamless incorporation of historical figures and details.

CM Magazine

I highly recommend this book to boys, and historical literature lovers. There is action and history aplenty.

The Farmer's Daughter's Bookshelf

Librarian Reviews

Shadow Riders

This dramatic adventure story follows two brothers, one an adopted Aboriginal boy, as they join the trek of the North West Mounted Police in an effort to find the horses stolen from their family farm. Based on factual accounts of the Mounties’ first expedition into the lawless western prairies, the story explores the characters of the men involved, the hardships brought about by the lack of good information and maps, and the courage and determination of the pioneers. As they search for the missing herd, both Rob and Luke have to do some fast growing up and Luke begins to learn some thing of his possible heritage.

Bayle has written two other novels based on early Canadian history. Battle Cry at Batoche was a CCBC Our Choice selection. Perilous Passage was a CCBC Best Book and was nominated for the 2009 Red Maple Award.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2010-2011.

Other titles by B.J. Bayle