Jackson and Bud's Bumpy Ride: America's First Cross-Country Automobile Trip

Overview

Dr. Horatio Jackson wasn't necessarily a betting man. But in 1903, he overheard a stranger saying that it was just not possible to drive across the United States in one of those unreliable, newfangled automobiles. Jackson disagreed—he believed in the future of the automobile. So he made a $50 bet with the man that he could drive a car from San Francisco to New York. Jackson bought a used Winton automobile, hired a mechanic named Crocker, packed some supplies, and adopted Bud, a bulldog who became their mascot. ...

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Overview

Dr. Horatio Jackson wasn't necessarily a betting man. But in 1903, he overheard a stranger saying that it was just not possible to drive across the United States in one of those unreliable, newfangled automobiles. Jackson disagreed—he believed in the future of the automobile. So he made a $50 bet with the man that he could drive a car from San Francisco to New York. Jackson bought a used Winton automobile, hired a mechanic named Crocker, packed some supplies, and adopted Bud, a bulldog who became their mascot. The trio's only goal was to make it from San Francisco all the way to New York City in one piece. Yet 5,600 miles and 63 ½ days later, what they actually did was make history. This true story is based on Jackson's own account of the first automobile trip across the United States.

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  • Jackson and Bud's Bumpy Ride
    Jackson and Bud's Bumpy Ride  

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

Short sentences and readable prose capture much of the triumph and challenge of the 63-day trip undertaken in 1903 by Horatio Jackson, who was motivated by a $50 bet, and Sewall J. Crocker, his mechanic. Along the way, they picked up Bud, a goggles-wearing white bull dog. There were virtually no paved roads and no roadside amenities, and the Winton auto broke down frequently. Grasshoppers, mosquitoes, deserts, and mud added to the adventure. An entry for June 20, "Lost Near Green River, Wyoming," describes a miserable encounter with rain that sank the vehicle deep into the mud. The animated, cartoon illustrations are lighthearted and detailed, and add much to the narrative. Readers will be amused to find that the grueling journey cost Jackson $8000, all for a $50 bet that he never collected. Although the author includes fictionalized dialogue and is not clear about the authenticity of the dated entries, the afterword provides additional historical information and archival photographs.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI

Kirkus Reviews
Two men and a dog set off on the first transcontinental car trip in this fetching re-creation of a true story. Responding to a $50 bet, Horatio Jackson hires a mechanic, buys a 20-horsepower Winton (this was 1903) and sets out from San Francisco, acquiring a bulldog along the way. Considering that there were but 150 miles of paved road in the whole country at the time-and neither gas stations nor many road signs-their 5,600-mile journey to New York, accomplished in just 63.5 days, stands as a triumph of sheer perseverance. In his cartoon pictures Hargis depicts all three of his goggle-wearing travelers having the time of their lives, determinedly riding their increasingly mud-spattered horseless carriage through mountains, deserts and storms. The author sticks closely to the historical record in her present-tense narrative and layers in more detail, plus photos, in a closing note. Though she doesn't fill in all the blanks-where, for instance, did they find gas and spare parts?-her invitation to clamber aboard will be hard to resist. (Informational picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822578857
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Series: Millbrook Picture Bks
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff is the author of The ABCs of Writing for Children, a Writer's Digest Featured Book Club Selection, Curtain Call, and a number of children's books including John Muir and Stickeen. She is Byline Magazine's Writing for Children columnist and has taught educators through California State University Hayward's East Bay Extension and UC Santa Cruz. A former elementary and middle school teacher, she currently chairs a San Francisco Bay Area Middle School Writing Contest. After attending the University of Arizona, Wes was syndicated as a cartoonist through King Features. He now has a steady clientele for freelance illustrations and covers with newspapers and other clients across the West. This is his first picture book.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    will tickle the imagination of a child

    In 1903, Dr. Horatio Jackson overhears a stranger say nobody can drive a car across the U.S. He bets the stranger $50 that he can drive cross-country, from San Francisco to New York. He buys a used Winton automobile, hires an auto mechanic named Crocker, and they're off! There is only about 150 miles of paved road in the U.S. at this time, so the journey is very hard. A man on the side of the road in Oregon sold Jackson his dog, Bud, a bulldog. Bud soon becomes their mascot, attracting crowds along the way since it is a strange sight indeed to see a bulldog sitting up front in an automobile wearing goggles to keep the dust out of his eyes! There aren't any gas stations, no real roads, and no road signs. Fuel for stoves and farm equipment can be purchased at general stores, so that's what Jackson does.

    You will just have to read this fun true story to learn all about the adventures Jackson, Crocker, and Bud have on the very first cross-country trip in the U.S. in an automobile!

    I give this book a high five for the awesome strong story that Author Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff was able to write around a true story, and the really fun illustrations done by Wes Hargis. I really liked the end of the book where photos of the real Jackson, Crocker, and Bud were used, along with what happened to all of them after the completion of their epic auto journey. This is a great story to tickle the imagination of your child to think about how life was like before roads in this country.

    Gayle Jacobson-Huset
    Fiction & Poetry Editor - STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2010

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