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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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On the Blue Comet Hardcover – September 28, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Gravity Falls: Journal 3
Gravity Falls: Journal 3
Journal 3 brims with every page ever seen on the show plus all-new pages with monsters and secrets, notes from Dipper and Mabel, and the Author's full story. Hardcover
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-7–An engaging story of the magic of trains and time travel. Oscar Ogilvie, 11, lives with his dad in Cairo, IL. They share a love for model trains, particularly exact replicas of existing trains. After the Crash of 1929, Oscar's dad loses his job and their house, including the model trains, and leaves for California to look for work. Lonely and sad, Oliver is left in the care of his dour Aunt Carmen. Pining for the trains and the connection to his father that they represent, he visits the Blue Comet in the basement of the First National Bank on Christmas Eve. Harold Applegate, a homeless man Oscar has befriended, is the night watchman. He explains the theory of negative velocity, or time pockets, to Oscar. When armed robbers break into the bank, Harold tells Oscar to jump into the model train set, and the boy is catapulted into an adventure that carries him from coast to coast and across time from 1931 to 1941 as he searches for his dad. His meeting with real people from the time, including Ronald Regan ("Dutch"), Alfred Hitchcock, Nelson Rockefeller, and Joe Kennedy, adds some humor, although today's kids might not recognize the names. Wells aptly portrays the magic of the model trains and of a young man's quest. She blends just enough hyperbolic elements to give the story the feel of a tall tale. Ibatoulline's precisely drawn, intricately detailed illustrations, some full page and others spreads, are stunning, and all are in full color. They enhance the 1930s setting and perfectly capture the nostalgic, wistful tone of the narrative. The sheer beauty of this winning book will attract many readers; the magic of the story and its likable protagonist will hook them.Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Eleven-year-old Oscar’s life is disrupted when the stock market crash of 1929 forces his father to leave Illinois to find work in California. It’s a devastating loss exacerbated by the selling off of their beloved train set. Then Oscar meets a mysterious stranger named Mr. Applegate, and their intersection with a bank robbery creates a mystical moment in which Oscar escapes harm by somehow leaping into a model train. He is whisked off to California—but when he gets there, he is 21 years old. Helped by his similarly aged father, Alfred Hitchcock, and Joan Crawford’s maid (seriously!), Oscar makes another magical journey, only this time he overshoots home and ends up 6 years old in New York. The plot’s Twilight Zone potential—the intriguing concept of a spectral train providing haven for unhappy children—is not thoroughly plumbed, and one wonders at the appeal of such a retro story. Hopefully, though, readers will be all-aboard this pleasing diversion. Ibatoulline’s Rockwellian illustrations match the squeaky-clean text (even the word damned is bleeped). Grades 5-8. --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Black-Eyed Susan Book Awards Grades 4-6 2013
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076363722X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763637224
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Language: There are a handful of hell's and damn's scattered throughout the book. There are also about 10 expression involving Deity. The words piss and fricking are used and Oscar says, "I learned a few bad words and I strung them all together."

Violence: Oscar's mother is killed in an explosion. Two armed men with guns break into the bank to rob it. They blindfold the watchman and hit him over the head. They shoot their guns and try to catch Oscar but Oscar escapes. The robbers shoot the watchman in the head and in the heart. There is blood everywhere. Oscar remembers the robbery throughout the book, a little more detail each time. Cyril tries to capture Oscar.

Adult Themes: There is smoking and drinking by adults. Oscar (as a child in a young adult body) thinks he could at least ask for a beer. Reference is made to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the beginning of the war. The stock market crash and the depression that followed are also touched on. Oscar's father loses his job and their house. Oscar has to live with his aunt.

Oscar lives with his Dad in a home in Illinois. Together they enjoy the hobby of putting together model train sets. Then the stock market crashes and Oscar's dad loses his job, their house and their beloved train set. When Oscar's dad leaves in search of work, Oscar is forced to live with his aunt who is a stern and cold lady. Oscar meets a stranger one day who becomes a real friend to him. The stranger teaches him poems and helps him with his math. Then one day Oscar witnesses a horrible crime that begins a series of time-hopping events on train called the Blue Comet.
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Format: Hardcover
I have never read a story by Rosemary Wells before, but when I saw the beautiful cover of ON THE BLUE COMET and read the cover, it was a book that I had to read. I mean it's a time traveling story with trains! The story follows Oscar Ogilvie, an eleven-year-old boy living from 1931 Cairo, IL. The story actually begins a few years earlier. After the tragic death of his mother, Oscar and his father find refuge together in a Lionel toy train set that they build together. The set expands and soon takes up the Ogilvie's basement. Oscar's aunt think's Oscar's dad is insane and is wasting his money, but the father and son both know better. Then the stock market crashes in 1929 and everything changes. Oscar's dad eventually loses his job working for John Deere. They have to sell the house and all the trains. Oscar moves in with his aunt and her daughter and his dad leaves for California to try to find a job with the John Deere plant out there.

Work is scarce and Oscar's dad has a tough time at it first. Meanwhile, Oscar is working on improving his math grades at school. While his aunt and cousin go about their tutoring and speech lessons to wealthier families, Oscar stays at home. One day he meets an older man named Mr. Applegate. Mr. Applegate used to be a mathematics professor at Princeton, but his theories about Einstein and time travel were too advanced for the time. He lost his job and now travels around from place to place looking for work. Mr. Applegate helps Oscar with his math and introduces him to great literature. Mr. Applegate eventually gets hired at the local bank as a night watchman. Weeks before Christmas the bank reveals an impressive lobby display of trains, all of which used to belong to Oscar and his father. Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
As some of the other reviewers mentioned, the gorgeous cover attracted me. I had just seen the Antiques Roadshow episode featuring a Lionel Blue Comet, a train of which I'd never heard before and which fascinated me. So when I saw the blue train on the cover, and read the title, I was already hooked.

The story lived up to the cover. No point in writing a synopsis, since others have already done so, but the time travel elements are very well done, the characterizations are excellent, and I'm left desperately wanting a sequel to find out more about the people about whom I came to care.

An added bonus for adults which will probably pass children by are the references, not necessarily by name, to famous people of the past. I was especially moved by the portrayal of Dutch, who is first seen wearing a Eureka College sweater.

The full-color inside illustrations are also spectacular.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I used to work in the children's section of a library, so I like to keep up with children's literature (on top of that, I'm just a grown up with a huge imagination). Rosemary Wells is an author that was very popular when I was working at the library. I enjoyed this book a lot; Oscar is a believable character and the book presents the concept of time travel in a great way. It provided a educational background on Einstein and what it would take for time travel to be possible. The plot was well thought out and I was impressed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my 11 year old son based on recommendations and the fact that the title was on the Reading Olympics list for his school.

The story is initially set in Cairo, Illinois at the start of the Great Depression. Oscar Ogilvie lives a comfortable life with his widowed father. They share a modest home and a passion for model trains. Financial losses force his father to search for work in California leaving Oscar in the care of his strict Aunt Carmen. His one consolation is Mr. Applegate, a lone drifter who wanders into Oscar's life and mentors him in math and poetry. Mr. Applegate becomes Oscar's one true friend and surrogate father.

In a rapid turn of events, Oscar finds himself part of a brutal bank robbery which leads to a magical train ride, time travel, interactions with famous people, several scary situations, a friendship with another time traveler named Claire, one near-death experience, and a tidy ending.

Although my son enjoyed to the book immensely he did not understand any of the references to the famous celebrities that Oscar met in Hollywood. He also was a little confused by Applegate's explanation of time travel and the books' rather quick resolution.

I thought that on the whole the book was well written although I did object to some of the language. My main complaint was that there was quite a bit of repetition in the story. Every time someone asked Oscar to explain his situation – he did from the very beginning! The author used this device as a way to explain Oscar's shifting memory which may have been necessary but it did slow down the story. There was also a good bit of stereotyping among the characters: the callous wealthy bankers, the mystical Miss Chow, the train conductor, among others.

The illustrations and cover art were very well done.
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