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Children's Literature Reviews
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Beautiful land : a story of the Oklahoma Land Rush
by Nancy Antle ; illustrated by John Gampert.
New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1994.
54 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.


After a two-year wait during which her mother died, twelve-year-old Annie Mae and her family join thousands of hopeful settlers as they race to claim land in the newly-opened Oklahoma Territory.


Carolyn Phelan (Booklist, July 1994 (Vol. 90, No. 21))
From the Once Upon America series, this short chapter book describes the opening of the Oklahoma Territory. Anna Mae, her brother, and her father have been living in a dugout on the Kansas prairie for two years waiting for word that the new territory is open for settlement. When the news comes, the family lines up with others to race in a land run. Claim jumpers try to cheat them, but soldiers ride to the rescue and all ends well. Although too short to explore fully the emotional issues raised, the book fulfills its purpose in creating sympathetic characters and showing what daily life may have been like for settlers of the period. Especially recommended for libraries in the region and for others seeking short historical fiction at this reading level. Category: Middle Readers. 1994, Viking, $12.99. Gr. 3-5.

Uma Krishnaswami (Children's Literature)
It is 1899. The Oklahoma Territories are newly opened, and the settlers are rushing in to claim new land. Annie Mae, 12 years old, and her family are among them ( Pa and Uncle Michael and Aunt Ellen and little brother Dan. Annie Mae's mother is dead, and her memory is woven through the child's recollections. This is the story of their journey. It is also the fictionalized story of many families who made similar journeys, from despair and poverty toward hope. 1994, Viking, $12.99 and $3.99. Ages 7 to 11.

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1994)
Part of a series, Once Upon America, that highlights various episodes in American history by creating fictionalized stories based on actual circumstances and events, Beautiful Land is a satisfying tale of a young girl's experiences during the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. Twelve-year-old Annie Mae is so excited she can barely sleep; after two years of waiting (during which she, her father, and brother lived in a dugout), they are finally ready to start their journey to Oklahoma, where they will choose a plot of land on which to build a farm and a home. But things don't go as smoothly as Annie Mae would have wished: Their wagon gets stuck in mud; then it nearly pitches off a bridge and into a river. When they finally reach their destination, they encounter outlaws who try to bully them off land that is rightfully theirs. And to make matters even worse, her beloved Uncle Michael will barely even look at her since the death of her mother, as if he holds her responsible. Antic is skilled at weaving large historical events together with smaller, more personal ones to create a convincing story of American frontier life. Her affable style, the realistic dialogue, and lively pacing will make this a good first novel for many readers and an excellent history lesson for all of them. 1994, Viking, $12.99. © 1994 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.


Once upon America


Frontier and pioneer life--Oklahoma--Fiction.
Oklahoma--History--Land Rush, 1889--Juvenile fiction.
Oklahoma--History--Land Rush, 1889--Fiction.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ7.A6294 Be 1994
93041482 [Fic]
0670853046 : $12.99
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