Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Adventure & Adventurers

Queen of the Falls

by (author) Chris Van Allsburg

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Initial publish date
Apr 2011
Adventure & Adventurers
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2011
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 4


She could remember standing in a park near the falls, hypnotized by the sight and sound, andholding her father’s hand as they took a walk that would lead them closer.


That’s what everyone wonders when they see Niagara . . . How close will their courage letthem get to it?


At the turn of the nineteenth century, a retired sixty-two-year-old charm school instructor named Annie Edson Taylor, seeking fame and fortune, decided to do something that no one in the world had ever done before—she would go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel.


Come meet the Queen of the Falls and witness with your own eyes her daring ride!


About the author

Contributor Notes

Chris Van Allsburg has won two Caldecott Medals, forJumanjiandThe Polar Express, a Caldecott Honor forThe Garden of Abdul Gasazi,  and the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and two children. He has never gone over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Editorial Reviews

"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
"In this unromantic and bittersweet account, 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

"A daredevil story is an easy sell for almost any kid audience, and a daredevil story by a beloved storyteller is just about as good as it gets."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review"An odd, unsettling meditation on fame."—Kirkus Reviews
"This illustrated biography climaxes beautifully with a double-page spread of the great falls, a tiny barrel bobbing in the current, and a powerful one-line text: '"Oh, Lord," she whispered, and then she was gone.'"—The Horn Book

Other titles by Chris Van Allsburg

Related lists