A Shooting Star: A Novel about Annie Oakley

Sheila Solomon Klass, Author Holiday House $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8234-1279-2
At the age of eight, Phoebe Anne Moses, heroine of this fictional biography, takes up her late father's rifle and shoots her hungry family a rabbit. It proves to be a pivotal moment: she will go on to hone her near-miraculous talent for hunting game and in the process transform herself into famed sharpshooter Annie Oakley. In her first historical novel Klass (Next Stop: Nowhere) limits her story chiefly to Annie's rough childhood. Saddled with a learning disability, abandoned to a poorhouse by her mother and later abused by an adoptive family, the protagonist is also cursed with a cloying tendency to answer rhetorical questions (""Where do ideas come from?"") and speak in exclamations (""I am almost up to the happily ever after part!""). However, Annie is consistently plucky and nonconformist, and once she begins to shoot in earnest the hitherto slow-moving story becomes compelling. Her teenage efforts to pay her mother's mortgage by selling game and pelts are enough to swell readers' chests with empathetic pride. The narration sometimes misfires, but Klass's portrayal of Oakley's courageous individualism makes this tale hit the mark. Ages 8-12. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1996
Release date: 10/01/1996
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 173 pages - 978-0-440-41493-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-12353-2
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-15702-5
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