A Blog for the Master's of Information Sciences Program
Author: Brian Floca
Illustrator: Brian Floca
Publisher: A Richard Jackson Book, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Publication year: 2013
Brief Summary: From Simon & Schuster-“It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.”
Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I found a really comprehensive curriculum guide from Myra Zarnowski, a professor in the department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Queens College, CUNY that details some activities students can do with/around this book, such as writing a “help wanted” ad for a crew member of the train, or having the student imagine they are crew member and writing a diary of their experience. This book could be used in a history class, or in a language arts class. I also believe this book could be used for older children as well.
Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – This book has a wealth of information. Floca does a great job of giving all this information in an creative and attention-grabbing way. I liked the use of text around the illustrations. Additionally, I think the text changing, especially for the onomatopoeias in this book, is a great way to get children interested and keep their attention in the book. Floca also uses sources, and he includes these in the back of the book.