Rough, Tough Charley
Non fiction

A stagecoach driver from the 1850's surprises everyone

This non-fiction biography, written in Verla's signature style of cryptic rhyme, tells the life story of Charles Darkey Parkhurst, a rough and tough stagecoach driver from the 1850's. Charley was noted as one of the best and safest drivers in the motherlode area of California during the 49er's gold rush days. Charley led an exciting life, filled with everything from stagecoach robbery attempts, to losing an eye when a horse kicked it out, to having a bridge collapse under the stagecoach during a storm. But the most amazing thing about Charley wasn’t discovered until Charley died.

Awards and Recommendations:

  • 2008 Amelia Bloomer Project list of recommended feminist literature for young readers

Starred Review:

  • Publishers Weekly 2007: “...The twist regarding Charley...should come as a genuine surprise; readers will likely pore over the excellent timeline on the final spread to glean further details of this true and compelling story...”