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Rudy Rides the Rails: A Depression Era Story (Tales of Young Americans) Hardcover – March 1, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 ratings
Part of: Tales of Young Americans (22 Books)

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—Set in 1932, this picture book tells of a teenager who leaves his home in Akron, OH, and takes to the rails to find work and hopefully a better life in California. Despite his father's advice, "look out for you and yours, and nobody else," Rudy learns that people who are down and out have to lean on others sometimes. As he travels west, stopping to take odd jobs, he meets other travelers who help him endure life on the road. They show him the signs left behind by other hoboes, warning of danger and indicating those homes where food would be offered. With their assistance, Rudy, like many other displaced persons, survives, eventually returning home to carve the "kindness here" symbol on his own front porch. Realistic, painterly illustrations depict the teen's cross-country journey, showing the many different trains he rides through the changing North American landscape. Beginning with the despair on the faces of the men waiting in line for work, the paintings clearly convey the characters' emotions. The symbols appear throughout and are defined on an appended page, along with a "Hobo Glossary." The writing is clear and vivid, and an author's note provides context for the story. A wonderful addition to the study of the Great Depression.—Anne L. Tormohlen, Deerfield Elementary School, Lawrence, KS
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Based on the experience of Ramblin' Rudy, one of more than a quarter of a million teens who left home in the 1930s, this picture book in the Tales of Young America series shows the hard times of the Depression as well as the adventure of the journey. The stirring full-page watercolor paintings capture the period with realism and a tinge of sentiment, starting with Rudy, 13, in a winding line of men and boys desperate for work. In a close-up portrait, unemployed, seething Pa tells Rudy, "You gotta look out for you and yours, and nobody else." Rudy hops the trains out West, crouched in a boxcar or on the roof, jumping off to avoid the police. He finds odd jobs, sends some money home. He does not strike it rich in California. Lots of doors slam in his face. But the hoboes and some locals help each other, and readers will be moved by Rudy's discovery that despite what Pa says, there is kindness and community. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product details

  • Publisher : Sleeping Bear Press; Illustrated edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1585362867
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1585362868
  • Reading age : 6 - 9 years
  • Lexile measure : 750L
  • Grade level : 1 - 4
  • Item Weight : 1.08 pounds
  • Dimensions : 11 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 12 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
12 global ratings
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4 star
35%
3 star
13%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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