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Wells, Rosemary.
Cambridge : Candlewick, 2010
IL 5-8
ISBN 076363722X

(2 booktalks)

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Booktalk #1

Who would think that it would be possible to travel through time and space aboard a Lionel model train?  But that’s just what Oscar Ogilvie of Cairo, Illinois did.    It’s 1931 and the hard times of the Great Depression have hit hard.   Oscar and his dad enjoyed many years in their home at the end of Lucifer Street with their grand set up of Lionel trains in their basement.
But in 1931, the Hard Times of the Great Depression have hit hard.   They have to sell their house and Oscar’s Dad leaves for California.  Oscar has to go live with his Aunt Carmen and his young, thumb-sucking cousin Willa Sue.   Things in Oscar’s world greatly improve when Mr. Applegate walks by Aunt Carmen’s house carrying “The Fireside Book of Poetry” checked out from The Cairo Public library.   Join Oscar on his time travel adventure riding the rails and meeting famous people in his search to find his Dad and his way home.  And-- you might just find yourself memorizing the words of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)

Booktalk #2

The stock market crash of 1929 changed Oscar Ogilvie’s life.  The bank has taken his home and everything in it including his beloved model train collection.  He had the biggest train set in Cairo, Illinois.  Someday Oscar and his dad had planned to take a transcontinental trip on the Blue Comet, their favorite. But now that Dad has lost his job and is in California looking for work,  Oscar doubts that dream will ever come true. Forced to move in with his humorless aunt and mean cousin, Oscar makes friends with a drifter and witnesses a crime which leads him on a time traveling train trip across America.  While on the train he meets famous historical figures including Hollywood stars and future presidents.   Will you recognize Dutch and the other stars from by-gone years?  (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2011-2012)

SUBJECTS:     Space and time -- Fiction.
                        Railroad trains -- Fiction.
                        Single-parent families -- Fiction.
                        Depressions -- 1929 -- Fiction.
                        California -- History -- 1850-1950 -- Fiction.
                        Illinois -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction.
                        Adventure and adventurers -- Fiction.

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