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All Aboard!: Elijah McCoy's Steam Engine (Great Idea Series) Hardcover – August 10, 2010
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From School Library Journal
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top Customer Reviews
Lovely little first biography for picture book age children or older struggling readers who still like their books filled with illustrations. Of course, Elijah's life is told briefly and rapidly but it manages to hit upon all the major events of his life leading up to the invention of his oil cup which revolutionized steam travel. Not only do we get the facts of this young man's life, we also get insight into the era and the treatment of Blacks in the US and child labour in general. Canadian born Elijah, educated in Scotland, returned to his family now living back in the US, first meets up with a white man's disdain and ignorance as he tries to get a job designing train engines and ends up being an ashcat, the person who feeds the coal into the engine. Along with him is a small white boy, his "grease monkey" who keeps all the parts well oiled climbing under and over the engine in a dangerous job. These injustices though are what keep Elijah up at nights trying to figure out a way to fix the steam engine that causes their job to be so dangerous and tiresome, and for train travel to be so slow.
The writing is age appropriate and interesting and doesn't talk down to its audience giving a good clear picture of the process an engineer and inventor must go through. Slavin's illustrations are wonderful old-style paintings that fit the text perfectly. The story goes on to end with a small page telling where the phrase "the real McCoy" came from and how Elijah had a life filled with engine inventions and even some inventions that had nothing to do with engines, such as a portable ironing board. Young children will enjoy Elijah's story and older ones may be inspired to finding out more about him.
Slavin's illustrations are beautiful, moving, and wonderfully detailed - the sort to pore over for long minutes after the story's over. Overall, All Aboard! is a triumph.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good addition to 3rd grade classroom for Black History Month.Published 15 months ago by Juliette Bettencourt
This was an acceptable book. Unfortunately, I don't have it to hand for this review, so it'll be a short one. Read morePublished on October 28, 2010 by Ulyyf
Monica Kulling excels at taking a moment in history, oftentimes a forgotten moment, and creating a story that is compelling even as it is informative! "All Aboard! Read morePublished on September 3, 2010 by B. Miller