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Based on the hand-written memoir of Fred Van Blaricom, this true story recounts a life of hardship and hope in the Montana Territory during the late 1800s. Told in Fred's affable voice and rich with historical detail, A Hard Won Life is a coming-of-age story packed with adventures and grounded in the remarkable lives of the earliest homesteaders-men and women-of the Lower Yellowstone. Meet young Teddy Roosevelt, famed buffalo hunter Vic Smith, saloon owners, devious outlaws, and persistent sheriffs. Working as a cowboy, young Freddie broke horses, helped catch a horsethief, survived the cattle-killing winter of 1886, and at age ten rode alone 100 miles to work a season on a ranch in the Dakota Territories. Fred's was a life of struggle against many obstacles, but he overcame them or abided them with no complaint. As he himself put it: 'The hero was throwed, but the horse was tamed.' Meticulously researched and superbly written, A Hard Won Life is a tale of bravery, determination, and one boy's embodiment of the spirit of Montana.