Double Caldecott Medalist Chris Van Allsburg (also the author of Jumanji and The Polar Express) here takes readers 8 to 10 on another sort of journey—one that actually happened. In 1901, a determined 62-year-old widow named Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She found a cooper who would build her special barrel, and a promoter who believed her stunt would work—which, remarkably, it did—but Annie found that going over the Falls was actually the easy part of achieving fame. Van Allsburg tells the bittersweet story of this fearless woman in beautiful sepia drawings that capture the drama of the event and also the loneliness of her heroism.
"Van Allsburg's foray into nonfiction is filled with the same suspense, surrealism, and menace that have thrilled readers of his fiction."—School Library Journal (starred review)
"Van Allsburg presents the feat as born as much out of need as of courage, with Taylor portrayed as a hardheaded eccentric and an unlikely queen."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)