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SHOOTING FOR THE MOON by Stephen Krensky


The Amazing Life and Times of Annie Oakley

by Stephen Krensky & illustrated by Bernie Fuchs

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2001
ISBN: 0-374-36843-0
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

The tiny (less than five feet tall) sharpshooter known as Annie Oakley began life as Phoebe Ann Mozee on an Ohio farm. At age eight, Annie, one of seven children, broke her nose from the kickback of the rifle she used to kill a cottontail rabbit to feed her family. After her father and one of her sisters died, Annie boarded with a couple to help care for their baby, but for two years they kept her a virtual prisoner and didn’t even let her write to her mother. She escaped, began supporting her family by supplying game to fancy hotels through a local grocery store, and at age 20 won the clay-pigeon shooting match against Frank Butler celebrated in song and story. Krensky follows Annie’s career through her marriage to Butler, her work in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and her tours throughout the US and Europe. The quotes are apparently taken from Annie’s own diaries (credited in the acknowledgments) and have a richly authentic flavor. The deep-toned, soft-focus paintings make good use of gold and sepia; one of Annie’s most famous tricks, involving shooting glass balls, is brilliantly evoked in shadows, a puff of rifle smoke, and exploding glass shards. A terrific introduction to a historical character who was the heroine of her own fabulous tale. (author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)