During the early twentieth century, New York bustled with immigrants, industry, and the galloping sound of urban cowboys. In Tenth Avenue Cowboy, Ben moves to the city and meets these legendary riders, who warned street traffic about approaching trains. Here are several resources to pair with this wonderful, wistful story.


This video shows a Tenth Avenue cowboy at work in the 1930s, mingling with pedestrians and automobiles on the street.

This short documentary follows the history of Tenth Avenue’s railroads, from the street’s dangerous days as “Death Avenue” to the recent development of the High Line public park.

Exploring working-class life in the early twentieth century, this craft tutorial and history lesson shows one way children like Ben might have helped support their families.



Set in turn-of-the-century New York, this Caldecott Honor book shares another job children like Ben often had—lamplighter.

Combining fascinating facts and engaging activities, this book follows New York’s development from Dutch settlement to American metropolis.

In Ben’s time, Hell’s Kitchen was flooded by a constant stream of immigrants, including many from Italy. This warm picture book retells the journey the author’s great-grandfather took from Sorrento, Italy to New York City.


During the early twentieth century, photographer Jacob A. Riis recorded the difficult lives of New York’s poor and working classes. This book collects his work and captures the filthy conditions of the era’s tenement buildings.

and Tom Meyers

Written by the hosts of the podcast of the same name, this book shares stories from the history of New York. Chapter “The High Line and the Legend of Death Avenue” features the cowboys, as well as photos and newspaper articles from the period.

To avoid the dangers of the street-level line, an elevated train line was built along Tenth Avenue in the 1930s. When the High Line closed in the 1980s, it lay abandoned for decades. Eventually those tracks were transformed into the High Line park, which attracts millions of visitors each year. This book follows the park’s walking path and highlights local history along the way.  


Built along the tracks of the old High Line railroad, this public park features a 1.45-mile walkway lined with native plants and art installations. As they stroll above the city, visitors can trace the path the Tenth Avenue Cowboys once rode.

Located on New York’s Lower East Side, this museum preserves two tenement buildings as they were in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their collection focuses on the everyday lives of New York’s poor and working classes, as well as the immigrant experience in America.

Commemorating those who lost their lives along the tracks, this plaque includes a photograph of the area—and a Tenth Avenue Cowboy—circa 1898. Visitors can turn around and imagine what the bustling street would have been like over a hundred years ago.

Tenth Avenue Cowboy children's book

Tenth Avenue Cowboy

Written by Linda Oatman High
Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth

Purchase Tenth Avenue Cowboy at AmazonBarnes & NobleChristianbook.com,  IndieboundEerdmans, or your local  bookstore.