July 2010 Indie Next List
“Bring back the trains! Eleven-year-old Oscar falls into an old Lionel electric train set and finds himself actually aboard the Blue Comet train on his way to Chicago! Transferring there to the Golden State Limited, he is on his way to California to find his father, who has gone
there to find work. With both humor and suspense, Wells has crafted a fast-paced tale of courage during a time when dreams were about the only things most people owned. A heck of a ride!”
— Sue Carita, The Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH
Trains and time travel spur one boy’s thrilling adventure as he seeks to rejoin his father in a new classic from Rosemary Wells and Bagram Ibatoulline.
One day in a house at the end of Lucifer Street, on the Mississippi River side of Cairo, Illinois, eleven-year-old Oscar Ogilvie’s life is changed forever. The Crash of 1929 has rippled across the country, and Oscar’s dad must sell their home—with all their cherished model trains—and head west in search of work. Forced to move in with his humorless aunt, Carmen and his teasing cousin, Willa Sue, Oscar is lonely and miserable—until he meets a mysterious drifter and witnesses a crime so stunning it catapults Oscar on an incredible train journey from coast to coast, from one decade to another. Filled with suspense and peppered with witty encounters with Hollywood stars and other bigwigs of history, this captivating novel by Rosemary Wells, gorgeously illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, resonates with warmth, humor, and the true magic of a timeless adventure.
About the Author
Rosemary Wells is the creator of many unforgettable children's book characters, including Max and Ruby, McDuff, and Yoko, each of whom stars in their own book series. She is also the author of perennial favorites about universal childhood experiences, such as Noisy Nora and Read To Your Bunny. Rosemary Wells lives in upstate New York.
Bagram Ibatoulline was born in Omsk, Russia, and attended the State Academic Institute of Arts in Moscow. He has worked in fine arts, graphic arts, mural design, and textile design, and is adept at painting in different styles. This is his first book for Clarion. He lives in Chichester, New York.
Ibatoulline's full-color, atmospheric Norman Rockwell-like vignettes enhance the nostalgic feel of this warm, cleverly crafter adventure.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)