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

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

by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff, Wes Hargis (Illustrator)
 

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

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.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822578857
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Series:
Millbrook Picture Bks
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,148,522
Product dimensions:
10.70(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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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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