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Contributor(s): Crews, Donald

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ISBN: 0688135765     ISBN-13: 9780688135768
Publisher: Greenwillow
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: September 1996
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Annotation: It's getting late. So seven children decide to take the shortcut home, even though that means walking along the train tracks when they've been told to always take the road. They look, they listen, and the coast seems clear. Just when there's no turning back, the train appears. Here it comes! WHOO-WHOO! Full color.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Railroads; Fiction.
Afro-Americans; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: BL 99778273
Lexile Measure: 210
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 1-2, Age 6-7
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 10.00" H x 8.00" W x 0.25" (0.30 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 6143
Reading Level: 1.4   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q10360
Reading Level: 1.9   Interest Level: Grades K-2   Point Value: 1.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
The train tracks ran right by Bigmama's house in Cottondale, and the children were warned to stay off the tracks. But one night they were late, and the tracks were a shortcut, so they started off. And when there was no turning back, they heard the train coming.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1992 September #1)
A group of children get the thrill of a lifetime when they decide to cut short their walk home in Crews's new picture book. Though they know the freight train might round the bend momentarily, the kids opt for playing along the tracks instead of walking on their familiar route. Charged with excitement, the escapade turns to fullblown alarm when the train whistle sounds, sending the youngsters scrambling to safety at the last minute. Crews's economical text deftly explores a roller coaster ride of emotion in just a few paragraphs, highlighted with effective onomotopeia-Whoo wh(,o; klackity, klackity, klack. The underlying childlike sensibilities here-taking a risk to the limit, for example-authenticate the author's voice throughout. The story, an extension of the characters first introduced in Crews's nostalgic Bigmama's, is a perfect foil for the artist's masterful renderings of trains. A predominantly warm, earthy palette sets a serene and playful mood at the outset, followed by several dark, wordless spreads that show freight cars rushing past, ready to speed right off the page. Scenes portraying the frightened children are equally effective in this out of the ordinary drama set forth with uncommon artistry. Ages 4-up. (Oct.) Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1992 December)
K-Gr 2-- Crews relates an incident from his childhood in this reminiscence of seven young black children in a rural setting who collectively decide to take a shortcut home along some train tracks. As they play, there are small indications that trouble is not far away. The talented author/illustrator effectively uses type size, onomatopoeia, and a darkening scene lit up by the approaching train light to create a sense of building tension and release. As the train rumbles by, there are five double-page spreads given over to closeups of the cars rolling along. Slightly out of focus, they give the sense of motion. Visually and aurally, readers will vividly feel the sensation of a freight train moving by and be relieved at its passing. Crews's almost-cartoon drawings of the children seem awkward and out of place against his smooth renderings of the train and scenery. But in this instance, this technique works to the story's advantage, for the children are out of place, in the wrong place at the wrong time. --Judith Gloyer, Milwaukee Public Library Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.
 
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