If you haven't tried Richard Prosch's Jo Harper series yet, the first book, WAITING FOR A COMET, is free for the Kindle for a limited time, and I highly recommend it.
Because, you see, I'm late to the party myself and just read this one, and without a doubt, it's one of the best things I've read so far this year. The protagonist is young Jo Harper, the 12-year-old daughter of the local newspaper publisher in the eastern Wyoming town of Willowby. Set in 1910, the West is still just wild enough for these stories to fit firmly in the Western genre. Jo's best friend is Frog Carpenter, who's a couple of years younger than her, and although Prosch doesn't really say so, to me he looks and sounds like George "Foghorn" Winslow, a favorite child actor for many of us.
In the course of this tale, Jo also befriends Willowby's new constable, the rugged old female gunfighter and town tamer Abigail Drake, and gets mixed up with rustlers, all while waiting for Halley's Comet to arrive and kill everybody with cyanide gas when it passes by Earth, as the rumor goes is about to happen.
Prosch spins this yarn in lean, wonderfully entertaining prose that harkens back to the days of Fred Gipson, Jim Kjellgaard, and other authors who wrote "juveniles" that were actually great stories for readers of all ages. This is exactly the sort of thing many of us would have bought from the Weekly Reader or Scholastic Book Clubs at school, and Walt Disney would have made a live-action movie out of it.
In other words, WAITING FOR A COMET is the sort of book you thought they didn't write anymore. But Richard Prosch has, and it's great. Do yourself a favor, grab it while it's free, and if you enjoy it as much as I did, you'll be getting the others in the series. I plan to read them just as soon as I can.