ALTHOUGH THE 21-YEAR LIFE of the outlaw Henry McCarty, alias William H. Bonney, ended nearly 143 years ago, historians continue to squabble over his legacy—and Billy the Kid is still one of the most written-about historical figures of New Mexico. But sometimes it takes an outside perspective to really nail a narrative. Last year, Australian writer James B. Mills’s well-researched and rollicking Billy the Kid: El Bandido Simpático (University of North Texas Press) won a gold Will Rogers Medallion Award in Western nonfiction. The 688-page tome’s subtitle is a nod to Mills’s inclusion of the Hispano people who were part of the Kid’s story, many of whom previous biographers have left out.

Read more: The charismatic outlaw followed a rough and deadly path through the state.