Tuesday, June 9, 2009

When the Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton

"Every time I go to jump on a steam train as it chugs its way through Rowlesburg --"

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Summary: Jimmy Cannon tells about his life in the 1940s as the son of a West Virginia railroad man, loving the trains and expecting one day to work on the railroad like his father and brothers.

Publisher: Philomel Books; 162 pages

6 comments:

Jacquie said...

This is a cool book. Lots of feelings; lots of pretty word pictures; and even some history.

I LIKE it.

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

I loved this book - the chapter titles, the suspense, the dad. Slayton has great voice, it actually reminded me of a student...

Jill said...

I was a little disappointed with this book. After reading the excerpt on the back of the book, I expected it to be about his adventures while train jumping, when in reality, the first two pages were the only ones that mentioned it.

I did enjoy the way the chapters represented one day year after year, as we got to watch Jimmy and his family grow through the years.

Not the top of my list, but still a good read.

Anonymous said...

I loved it - I like how each chapter can work as a short story. A good read.

Kris said...

This book wasn't what I thought it was going to be...kind of like you, Jill, I expected something different, going by the excerpt on the back (I read an advanced reader's copy, so maybe the official edition is different). I liked it, though.

The family dynamics were interesting, the historical time period is one that hasn't been overdone, it was a fresh take in an uncommon setting.

There are some parallels between the "railroad" era, when families could count on getting a job in the railroad, and the current situation with the automotive industry. Would kids get this? Don't know, but I liked it.

Jen said...

This book wasn't what I expected, and I found the story somewhat disjointed. I struggled a bit to keep it all together in my mind.