Subway: The Story of Tunnels, Tubes, and Tracks

Overview

Beneath the streets of London, Paris, New York, and other cities lie massive, underground worlds of tunnels and trains, transporting millions of people. Undergound railways, or subways, are an engineering marvel. But why were they built? And how? Imagine city streets packed with horse-drawn stages, carriages, wagons, and trolleys --and people. Follow Larry Dane Brimner's high-speed tour of the early subways, from London, where Marc Isambard Brunel solved the problem of tunneling by watching a shipworm at work, to...

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Overview

Beneath the streets of London, Paris, New York, and other cities lie massive, underground worlds of tunnels and trains, transporting millions of people. Undergound railways, or subways, are an engineering marvel. But why were they built? And how? Imagine city streets packed with horse-drawn stages, carriages, wagons, and trolleys --and people. Follow Larry Dane Brimner's high-speed tour of the early subways, from London, where Marc Isambard Brunel solved the problem of tunneling by watching a shipworm at work, to New York City, where Alfred Ely Beach built a secret subway under Broadway. Neil Waldman's realistic illustrations compliment this amazing story and bring to life the early days when subways were first imagined and constructed. Grab your token! Hop on! The train is ready to leave the station.

Larry Dane Brimner has written more than one hundred books for children and young readers, including Country Bear's Good Neighbor, an American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists," and Max and Felix, a Kentucky Bluegrass Award nominee. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Neil Waldman has illustrated many books, including Dream Makers: Young People Share Their  Hopes and Aspirations and The Promised Land: The Birth of the Jewish People, an American Jewish Libraries Notable book. He lives in Greenburgh, New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This book starts off at the opening day of the New York subway, and then goes on a historical journey of the inventions and social challenges that led to its inception. It does not stop at describing what happened, it also touches on how the subway was built, explaining the construction process with its inherent dangers. The stories here make history come alive. Brimner takes a topic that might not be particularly interesting to some and makes it so. Using illustrations instead of photographs was an interesting artistic choice and the right one. The illustrations give the book a warmth that fits nicely with the humanistic approach that the author takes in telling the subway's history. An index in the back is a helpful reference tool. In addition to its obvious use in the study of subways, this book would also complement a unit on the urbanization of the late 1800's. 2004, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 7 up.
—Mary Helen Sheriff
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-The intriguing, cross-section painting of the New York City subway on the endpapers promises an interesting trip, one that is fulfilled by the history that follows. Brimmer begins with a description of opening day, October 27, 1904, and provides a brief account of the development of subways in Europe. He then explains clearly and chronologically how New York's system was envisioned, financed, and built. Portraits, depictions of street life, and representations of artifacts from the era add interest and historical specificity to the text. The beautifully executed pen-and-ink, watercolor, and acrylic paintings, with meaningful captions, expand the text. The book is well designed with a large and clear font, wide margins, and generous white space. Interesting tidbits of information in small italics are set off in sidebars in the margins. The book is not as detailed or informative as Lesley A. DuTemple's The New York Subways (Lerner, 2002) but, accessible to a much younger audience, Subway is a solid addition to most collections.-Ellen Loughran, Library Consultant, Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brimner gives the early history of public transportation a quick once-over, focusing particularly on the building of subway systems in London and New York, but adding side glances toward such related topics as the evolution of the steam engine and the digging of the Channel Tunnel. Waldman adds a period look, if not much specific technical detail, with illustrations that are, mostly, old photos or prints repainted in browns and sepia tones. Neither captures the scale or massive effort that went into these great engineering enterprises, and young readers inspired to dig a little deeper into this grand subject won't be well-served by the scant handful of adult sources cited at the end. Still, the author not only identifies a stimulating array of historical highlights and major figures, he discusses, however briefly, the impact that subways have had on many of the cities that have invested in them. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590781760
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,295,053
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1040L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Dane Brimner is an award-winning author of more than 150 titles for young readers-fiction and nonfiction. His previous titles for Calkins Creek are We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin, winner of the Jane Addams Book Award and the Norman A. Sugarman Children's Biography Award, and Birmingham Sunday, a NCTE Orbis Pictus honor book and a Jane Addams Children's honor book. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Neil Waldman has written and illustrated more than fifty books. He is the recipient of the Christopher Award and the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in White Plains, New York.

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