Stop the Train Paperback – January 1, 2007
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|Paperback, January 1, 2007||
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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Anyway, I pre-read this out of somewhat personal interest before I gave it to my kids. As an adult, I found it entertaining, with in-depth characters, a SLIGHTLY unbelievable plot, and a very nice use of the English language, plus vernacular. A few quite-adult situations in the book -- the husband in a neighboring family buys a single bed to economize on heating the home, but ends up with 8 kids, so that was declared a false economy. A neighbor's wife dies, and he advertises in the newspaper for a replacement. There is a rabbit slaughter (the kids participate). The mother consistently brow-beats her husband, making for unpleasant reading. There is quite a bit of bullying of girls portrayed -- throwing manure on a girl, inciting hundreds of rabbits to blindly panic and attack a girl, tying a girl to active railroad tracks, even cutting off a girl's hair and beating her in the mud.
In our family, we don't call ourselves "n-gger," and we would prefer other people wouldn't read and repeat the word to our kids. Gratuitous use of the n-word on page 80. The only black character is well-read and better educated than most of the white people, with dignity and quietness. Name of Monday Morning. Nice character.
Anyway, parents should know that this book is quite well-written, but they may want to skim through before they hand it over to the young folk.
At first the people feel totally unequipped for such a state of affairs. Cissy's own parents cannot seem to get along at all, her mother being very upset that they came to this dreadful spot in the first place and making her feelings vociferously and abundantly clear at frequent intervals. But with each other's help, they begin their new lives and Florence starts rising up out of the prairie. The townspeople agree that though they don't have much of a town yet, they are all sure it will grow once the train station is built. Commerce will come and Florence will prosper.
However, angered by the fact that the people of Florence have turned down his offer to buy their claims, the railroad owner refuses to allow his train to stop in Florence. He intends to cut the town off from the world. Now the townsfolk have to find a way to get that train to stop in their town before the town dies.
STOP THAT TRAIN! is a gripping story that pulls one along towards an extraordinary and unexpected finale. Part mystery and part western, with delightful characters who leap off the pages, this book is hard to put down. Armed with a delightful sense of humor and a keen understanding of human nature and its foibles, author Geraldine McCaughrean has created a book that will entertain readers of many ages.
--- Reviewed by Marya Jansen-Gruber (email@example.com)
This is a very enjoyable historical fiction book for kids 9 to 90. I couldn't wait to see what the folks of Florence would come up with next in their quest to stop the train. The characters really made this story come alive. Some of my favorites were Virgil and Loucien, the school teacher. I particularly loved her unorthodox, but extremely useful lesson plans.