Book Information

Richard Jackson Books for Atheneum (Simon and Schuster) 2013
Social Studies Curriculum

It's 1869 and the transcontinental railroad has finally been completed.  At long last a family can board a powerful locomotive and make its way across the wide, open spaces instead of riding a horse or piling all of their belongings and family members into a covered wagon.

The crew on the train has a huge challenge.  They will be faced with keeping the locomotive moving forward, keeping fuel levels at just the right level, attaching extra engines when they are needed to cross the towering mountains.

The families today who are about to cross the prairies and the Great Plains will eat, sleep and dream on board this train.  What will they eat?  Where will they sleep?  Imagine the scene when the train finally comes to the place where the sign for the 1,000 mile tree hangs out for all to see.  

This is an amazingly crafted, highly informative picture book that draws you into America's westward movement and the courage and fortitude that made it all possible.

Note:  There is a note of concern that has been voiced regarding this book due to its lack of mention of the Native Americans for whom these open lands are already home.  An excellent point for discussion while sharing the many facets of this briliantly told tale.

Ages  6-10     978-1416994152   64 pages

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

Keywords: westward expansion, trains, American history, Caldecott Medal winner 2014, courage, determination, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old

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