Friday, April 22, 2011

On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells

Playing with a model railway set was not something I did as a child but it was something I would have loved to have tried. Oscar and his dad have a fabulous model railway system set up in their basement and they spend many happy hours there creating the railways of America in miniature.

Then disaster strikes. The year is 1933 and the stock market crashes and the bank forecloses on their mortgage and Oscar and his dad have to move into town. Oscar is left in the care of his penny pinching, opinionated, mean spirited aunt while his dad travels to California to find work.

This book is a terrific read. It is both a history story and a time slip fantasy. I am in awe of Rosemary Wells who has written some of my most treasured picture books. Here she has a wonderful story which races across time and across the American countryside. I was also excited to see this book received a high rating in Horn Book Magazine.

I had no idea about many of the famous people from American History who were alluded to in this book but this did not detract from my enjoyment of the story.

If you loved The Polar Express and are ready for more train travel adventures look for On the Blue Comet. Special mention must also be made of the exquisite illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline. We have some other books by this illustrator in our library such as the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Great Joy.

I lost track of why I purchased this wonderful book but now I have discovered it is on the NSW School Magazine Bookshelf list - they certainly make excellent choices for our students.

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