________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 9 . . . .January 7, 2005

cover

Niagara Daredevils: Thrills and Spills Over Niagara Falls. (Amazing Stories).

Cheryl MacDonald.
Canmore, AB: Altitude Publishing (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2003.
117 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 1-55153-962-4.

Subject Headings:
Stunt men and women-Niagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.)-Biography.
Niagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.)-Biography.

Grades 7-12 / Ages 12-17.

Review by Ann Ketcheson.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

No one is quite certain why Niagara has such tremendous attraction for visitors and risk takers. What is known is that the attraction is often fatal. Since tourists first began flocking to the falls in the early 1800s, more than 5000 people have chosen to commit suicide there.

Self-destruction may not have been foremost in the minds of Niagara daredevils, but there is no doubt they were acutely aware of the falls' attraction. Whether they were seeking money, fame, or personal fulfilment, they all believed Niagara held the answers. For them, the falls were more important than family, security, or personal freedom - a magnificent obsession that could not be ignored.

 

For years, Niagara Falls has been a source of legends and a destination for honeymooners, tourists, and...daredevils! Many have challenged the falls with various stunts: swimmers, jumpers, tightrope walkers, and daredevils in boats, in barrels and on rafts. Some survived, many didn't; all seemed mesmerized by the power and magic of Niagara.

     In Niagara Daredevils, MacDonald has included a wealth of names, dates and adventure stories--enough to satisfy any "Falls addict" or armchair daredevil. In more or less chronological order, we read the often wild and wacky ideas of the men and women to seemed to need the thrill, often a deadly one, of conquering one of the world's greatest attractions. Many of us humans will do almost anything, it seems, in our attempt to achieve fame and fortune.

     Where MacDonald's book falls short is that the scope of her work is almost too large for a mere 117 pages. There are plenty of facts, but only a page or two devoted to each individual. Thus the anecdotes and small details which would truly bring these daredevils to life are missing. This reader felt she learned essential information, but little about true personalities and what made these daredevils "tick."

     However, if you wish to read the highlights of Niagara thrills and spills in one quick, easy-to-read book, Niagara Daredevils is a suitable choice.

Recommended.

Ann Ketcheson is a former teacher of high school English and French and currently is the teacher-librarian at Peterborough Collegiate in Peterborough, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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