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Beautiful Land: A Story of the Oklahoma Land Rush (Once Upon America) Paperback – January 1, 1997
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 3-5. 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. Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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