Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

The list of twenty-four references at the end of Annie Oakley and the World of Her Time reveals how carefully Clifford Alderman researched the material pertaining to this biography. Alderman uses actual facts, times, and places to authenticate the sequences of events of Annie Oakley’s life, beginning with her birth in 1860. Alderman commences with a short review of Oakley’s early life and follows with several chapters covering her years of fame. The biography concludes with Oakley’s gradual, peaceful death in 1926. Throughout the book, Alderman’s use of historical information provides the young reader with an understanding of the major events that occurred during this block of time.

Alderman seeks to generate appreciation for Oakley’s accomplishments by sharing the many difficulties that she endured after the death of her father when she was only five years old. Oakley did not receive a formal education because of her responsibilities and family obligations. Early in her childhood, she learned to shoot wild game in order to ensure her survival and that of her family. The detailed information that the author includes concerning Oakley’s childhood and her teenage years allows young readers to relate to this legendary figure as she was before her days of fame.

The book is short in length and easy to read, but Alderman does not sacrifice historical authenticity for brevity or simplicity. He describes each scene and event with...

(The entire section is 469 words.)