Additional DetailsWill James was a true rover and wrangler who never strayed far from pencil and brush. Accused of cattle rustling in his native Canada, James drifted south, where he was finally caught with his hand in the corral door near Carson City, Nevada. After serving his sentence, James moved to California where he sold sketches, did some stunts for films, and did a stint in the Army along the Mexican border. By 1922, he was selling stories he wrote and illustrated, stories that came to the attention of famed Scribner’s editor Max Perkins (who worked with Ernest Hemingway, among many others). James published his most famous work, Smoky the Cowhorse, in 1926 and won the 1927 Newberry Medal for children’s literature. Smoky would go on to be adapted for film on numerous occasions. James’s books have never been out of print.
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