The Nighthawk's Harmonica
A Montana Roundup Story

by Marcia Melton
and Mia DeLode

illustrations by Mia DeLode

published by Marcia Melton

produced by Sweetgrass Books

  • Fourteen-year-old Will is the youngest cowboy on a Montana roundup in the early 1900's. As the youngest, his job is to keep the cattle and horses calm at night by riding around the herd and watching for dangers like wolves or bears. The rider who does this job is called a Nighthawk, and Will is very happy and proud to play this important role.

    Will has two constant companions who make his job a lot easier his horse Ranger and his trusty harmonica. He also has a grumpy and intimidating boss in the Camp Cookie. When a sleepy Will makes a series of small mistakes that hold up the cattle drive, he expects to be punished by an angry Cookie who usually thinks the young Nighthawk isn't worth his bacon. Instead Will discovers that there's more to Cookie than meets the eye and learns an important lesson.

    Readers of all ages can read together and ride along on a Montana cattle drive in this cowboy story. Artist Mia DeLode's original paintings evoke cowboy artists from the turn of the century to illustrate Will's journey, perfectly capturing the spirit of the West.

32 pages, 11 x 8.5, PUR Casebound

ISBN 10: 1591522536
ISBN 13: 9781591522539


    An afterword provides information on the history of roundups with charming memories and photos of The Great Montana Centennial Cattle Drive of 1989.





The Nighthawk's Harmonica
A Montana Roundup Story

The Nighthawk's Harmonica align=

Marcia Melton align=

Author Marcia Melton is a librarian and teacher whose family history in Montana echoes back to the late 1800s. She gathers ideas from family stories and her love of Montana to create historical fiction for young readers. She lives in Montana and Arizona.

Her previous books are: The Boarding House: A Story of Butte and Philipsburg (Raven Publ., 2012); Joe Henry's Journey: Up the Missouri River to the Montana Gold Fields (Raven Publ., 2014); Joe Henry's Return: Montana Territory (Raven Publ., 2017); and MontAnimals ABC (Raven Publ., 2018).

Mia DeLode align=

Artist Mia DeLode is a fourth generation rancher from central Montana. Born and bred to be part of the rural west, she is an accomplished painter, sculptor, and writer of the culture, animals, people, and the humor that is unique to western living.

Her work can be found at West Lives On Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming; Frame of Reference Gallery in Whitefish, Montana; and Doug’s Frame up in Greeley, Colorado as well as in many national western art shows.

FARCOUNTRY PRESS  ·  P.O. BOX 5630  ·  HELENA, MT  ·  59604  ·  1-800-821-3874  ·  406-422-1263