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Children's LiteratureTay and her older brother are orphans from Colorado trying to make their way in the world as workers during the great Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893. The Columbian Exposition is described through the eyes of Tay and her excitement builds as her brother, who thinks her a nuisance, secures them tickets to the biggest show of their time, Buffalo Bill's Wild West show starring champion markswoman Annie Oakley. After the show, her brother insults Tay by calling her a tag-along and she runs off, in tears, only to end up behind Annie Oakley's tent. Annie welcomes her in and sympathetically listens to Tay's story. Annie invites her to try out as a cowgirl in the show and ensures her that girls can do anything they set their mind to. Overall, it is an exciting story that puts the reader in touch with what it must have been like to have been a part of the Chicago's World Fair. Throughout the story there are many photographs and captions that further describe the era. A chapter at the end of the book describes the history of Annie Oakley and the Wild West Show. A glossary, timeline, further reading/information lists and activities pages finish off this unique approach to historical fiction. This is part of the "Scrapbooks of America" series. 2003, Tradition Books, Ages 8 to 14.
—Melissa A. Caudill