"On the afternoon of October 24th, 1901, seeking fame and fortune to last into her old age, widow Annie Edson Taylor, a 62-year-old charm school teacher, plunged over Niagara Falls nestled inside a carefully crafted oak barrel. Angela Goethals's deliberate yet leisurely narration lets all the aspects of Taylor's exploit resonate--from the design and building of the barrel to Annie's growing apprehension as the falls approach. The meticulous preparation that led up to the day is thoroughly detailed in both Van Allsburg's trademark sepia illustrations and carefully researched text. Goethals's tone and clipped diction present Taylor's life matter-of-factly. This title is best suited to middle grade listeners who will benefit from having the book available to fully appreciate the interplay of story and illustrations. A.R. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"