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Children's LiteratureThis 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