Beautiful Land: A Story of the Oklahoma Land Rush (Once Upon America)

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9780140368086: Beautiful Land: A Story of the Oklahoma Land Rush (Once Upon America)

Annie Mae and her family set out for Oklahoma where in 1889 there will be a race to claim land, yet Annie Mae feels they will not make it in time and fears her dreams of living on a beautiful piece of land of her own will be gone.

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About the Author:

The author of several works of historical fiction, Nancy Antle has also written two children's books: Staying Cool, praised by Publishers Weekly as "a book that works well on many levels," and Sam's Wild West Show, an IRA-CBC Children's Choice.

Nancy Antle lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-5-These offerings present personal perspectives of youngsters who take charge in the face of adversity. However, the series' brief format does not allow for much character development and fails to convey the sweeping dangers and drama of the events described. Beautiful Land centers around April 22, 1889, when, at precisely noon, the first Oklahoma Land Rush began. Annie Mae, her father, her brother, and her uncle's family have been waiting at the border for years for the territory to open. On the fateful day, they easily find a plot of land, and when Annie Mae and Dan's father is threatened by claim jumpers, the children get help and save the day. In Facing West, young, overprotected Ben has asthma and believes his condition is the reason for the family's 1845 move west. An outburst from his resentful older sister and help from their guide Pete (who himself had asthma as a child) force Ben to "face his elephant," as the mountain man puts it, and he learns self-reliance on the trail. Both books include some humor and generally integrate historical details well, but stock characters and facile resolutions mar the stories. Historical notes and interesting information about the authors' research are appended. R. Conrad Stein's The Oregon Trail (Childrens, 1994) has excellent illustrations, primary-source material, and an easy-to-read text.
Sally Bates Goodroe, Houston Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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