Across America on an Emigrant Train

( 1 )

Overview

An account of Robert Louis Stevenson's twelve day journey from New York to California in 1879, interwoven with a history of the building of the transcontinental railroad and the settling of the West.

Combines an account of Robert Louis Stevenson's experiences as he traveled from New York to California by train in 1879 and a description of the building and operation of railroads in nineteenth-century America.

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Overview

An account of Robert Louis Stevenson's twelve day journey from New York to California in 1879, interwoven with a history of the building of the transcontinental railroad and the settling of the West.

Combines an account of Robert Louis Stevenson's experiences as he traveled from New York to California by train in 1879 and a description of the building and operation of railroads in nineteenth-century America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A readable and valuable contribution to literature concerning expansion into the American West." School Library Journal, Starred
Children's Literature - Leila Toledo
Through the eyes of Robert Louis Stevenson, one experiences the weariness and cramped, unsanitary quarters that he shared with other emigrants as they traveled across America. But one also feels the excitement of new hope and the lure of the west that is captured in Stevenson's personal account. Jim Murphy's award winning book weaves historical details, lots of photographs and line drawings into this familiar story of the transcontinental railroad. Remarkable pictures show the contributions of the railroad workers who tunneled and laid track on dangerous terrain. Although not mentioned by Stevenson, the building of the railroads and the wholesale slaughter of the bison were instrumental in forcing the Indians onto reservations. Also troubling to Stevenson was the prejudice toward Native Americans, Blacks and Chinese that he observed. ALA Notable Books for Children and SLJ Best Book.
Children's Literature - Leila J. Toledo
Through the eyes of Robert Louis Stevenson, one experiences the weariness and cramped, unsanity quarters that he shared with other emigrants as they traveled across America. But one also feels the excitement of new hope, and the lure of the West captured in Stevenson's personal account. Jim Murphy's award winning book weaves historical details and lots of photographs and line drawings into this story of the transcontinental railroad. Remarkable pictures show the contributions of the railroad workers who tunneled and laid track on dangerous terrain. Although not mentioned by Stevenson, the building of the railroads and the wholesale slaughter of the bison were instrumental in forcing the Indians onto reservations. Also troubling to Stevenson was the prejudice toward Native Americans, Blacks and Chinese that he observed. ALA Notable Books for Children and School Library Journal Best Book.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In 1879, Robert Louis Stevenson journeyed from Scotland across the Atlantic and then by train across the United States to join the woman he loved in Monterey, California. Murphy has drawn from the writer's journal to provide a fresh, primary-source account of transcontinental train travel at that time. Choosing by necessity the cheapest passage, Stevenson traveled with other newcomers to the U.S. who had not yet reached their final destination. He describes his companions, the passing countryside, the interior of the railroad cars, and daily life aboard a train. Into these journal entries, Murphy has woven meticulously researched, absorbing accounts of the building of the railroad and its effect on the territory it crossed: the disruption and destruction of Native American life, the slaughter of the buffalo, accidents, the development of the Pullman car, the towns that quickly came and vanished as the construction crews moved on, the snowsheds built to protect the trains in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Abundant, carefully selected period photographs, engravings, and lithographs are every bit as intriguing as the text. Appended is a lengthy bibliography with some original source material. This work supplements Leonard Everett Fisher's more extensive Tracks Across America (Holiday, 1992); it is a readable and valuable contribution to literature concerning expansion into the American West.- Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395764831
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/16/2003
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,008,339
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Murphy is the author of An American Plague , which received the Sibert Medal and a Newbery Honor and was selected as a National Book Award finalist. His Clarion titles include The Boys' War and other award-winning nonfiction as well as a picture book, Fergus and the Night-Demon . He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his family. For more information visit www.jimmurphybooks.com.

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Customer Reviews

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    Posted September 12, 2009

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