Cover image for Fearless Mary : Mary Fields, American stagecoach driver
Fearless Mary : Mary Fields, American stagecoach driver
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Illinois : Albert Whitman & Company, 2019

Physical Description:
29 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
"The true story of Mary Fields, aka "Stagecoach Mary," a trailblazing African American woman who helped settle the American West."--Provided by the Publisher.
Interest age level:
Ages 4-8.
Reading level:
Grades K-3.


Material Type
Call Number
Children's Book 920.72 Field
Children's Book 920.72 Field
Children's Book 920.72 Field
Children's Book 921 FIELD Fields, Mary

On Order



A little-known but fascinating and larger-than-life character, Mary Fields is one of the unsung, trailblazing African American women who helped settle the American West. A former slave, Fields became the first African American woman stagecoach driver in 1895, when, in her 60s, she beat out all the cowboys applying for the job by being the fastest to hitch a team of six horses. She won the dangerous and challenging job, and for many years traveled the badlands with her pet eagle, protecting the mail from outlaws and wild animals, never losing a single horse or package. Fields helped pave the way for other women and people of color to become stagecoach drivers and postal workers.

Author Notes

Tami Charles is a former teacher who now writes picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction for kids. She is the author of Like Vanessa . She lives in New Jersey with her family. Claire Almon lives in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to her illustration work, she does character design in animation.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This adventure-packed account set in 1895 Cascade, MT, centers on Mary Fields, a former slave and the first African American woman to drive a stagecoach. The author's note discusses the lack of available information on Fields-hence, the book reads more like a composite of Fields than a precise biography. Nonetheless, this story offers a much-needed correction to the often whitewashed history of the American West. Almon's full-color illustrations are soft, rounded, and appropriately child-friendly. VERDICT A worthy purchase for libraries serving young children and for classroom lessons on U.S. history, bravery, and overcoming adversity.-Kate -Olson, Bangor School District, WI © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

In 1895, a call goes out for a stagecoach driver in Cascade, Montana. This job entails navigating nearly impassable trails and fending off outlaws and wild animals to deliver the mail up the mountain to St. Peter's Mission. Although the Wild West is supposed to be a land of new opportunities, segregation still persists. No matter to a woman and former slave in her 60s who announces, I'm Mary Fields, but you can call me Fearless! This picture-book biography reimagines Mary's successful tryout against younger white cowboys to become the first African American female stagecoach driver in the country. Expressive digital artwork in earth tones depicts dramatic scenes as Mary reads the stars to guide her across rugged mountains, uses her trained pet eagle to attack and outsmart thieves, and guards her horses and overturned wagon against hungry wolves through the night. Final images show women delivering the mail on bicycles, on motorcycles, in trucks, and in airplanes, continuing Mary's legacy. A concluding author's note offers more information about this overlooked figure from history.--Angela Leeper Copyright 2018 Booklist