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Across America on an Emigrant Train

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  61 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published October 18th 1993 by Clarion Books
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Alicia Singleton
Across America on an Emigrant Train is a book about a man named Louis Stevenson and his trip from New York to California in 1879. Murphy explains that many emigrants chose to travel west in the United States because of “a combination of genuine opportunities and freedom, shrewd business, and good advertising,” but Louis had a different reason. He dropped everything and took every penny he had and set off to California when he finds out about the sickness of the girl he loves. Because he did not ...more
Kayla Spohr
Apr 28, 2014 Kayla Spohr rated it liked it
Shelves: chapter-readers
Across America on an Emigrant Train follows the journey of a young writer, Robert Stevenson. Author Jim Murphy depicts the life of Stevenson as he travels from Scotland to California by ship and then by the Continental Railroad. The reason for his expedition is to be with a girl he loves, who he has received word she is seriously ill. Stevenson was nothing if not passionate, and he reacted quickly to the news and he took what money he had and borrowed more from friends, and then set out for Cali ...more
Janet Hartman
Mar 02, 2016 Janet Hartman rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in the immigrant experience crossing the Atlantic and heading west by train
Although this book takes place in 1879, I read it to get a feel for the immigrant experience while writing my novel set in 1911. Not the exact time period, but still helpful.
Based in part on Robert Louis Stevenson's journal of his trip from Scotland to the western US to join his American lover whom he met in Europe, I felt the book gave me a good idea of what it was like to make the trip in less than 1st class accommodations. He had quite a difficult time even though he spoke English
Compared to
...more
Amanda
Sep 13, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
The use of Robert Louis Stevenson as the primary source for this opens up the idea of what it was to be an emigrant here in America. I'm always seeking ways to open up young people's minds to the idea that immigrating didn't end at Ellis Island.=.
Sherry (sethurner)
Nov 03, 2008 Sherry (sethurner) rated it really liked it
I have been working on family history, and discovered that my great grandmother's family traveled West from Iowa on the Union Pacific Railway in 1877. It was a emigrant train, something I had never heard of until I uncovered a letter detailing their travels. That's the reason I sought out this little YA book about emigrant trains. In 1879 Robert Lewis Stevenson came to San Francisco on a emigrant train to visit the woman he loved, and who he thought was dying. The book tells of his journey, and ...more
Richard
Aug 20, 2009 Richard rated it really liked it
This is a small book written for older teenagers, but still very good. Murphy uses several diaries, especially, Robert Lewis Stevenson's diary when he left Scotland by boat to New York, then across America by train in 1879, 10 years after the transcontinental railroad was finished. Stevenson kept a journal of his trip. I had always wanted to know what train travel was like during those early years. Murphy adds reflections and journal entries from others who had made the same trip during that tim ...more
Jim
this is three really intersting books inone. A wonderfulpicture book of trains. A bio of robt louis stevenson's journey as a writer. A history of 19th century American emiration. Combine all three and you have another perfectly written Jim Murphy book. i put of reading this for more than a year because of the title, (Murphy can't always write home runs), wish i hadn't waited.
Laura
A riveting work of juvenile nonfiction. The photographs and illustrations were just as engaging as the text. Plus, I learned a lot about Robert Louis Stevenson.
At times the author's biases were too evident, which for me made the difference between 4 and 5 stars (since we're asked to rate these books).
Ellie
Sep 07, 2011 Ellie rated it really liked it
Nice nonfiction about the American Railroad system's heyday framed in the story of author Robert Louis Stevenson's trip across America on one such train. Well-written and interesting subject matter, though definitely not for everyone.
Sophia
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.
Jess
Oct 18, 2008 Jess rated it liked it
Nonfiction about traveling across America during the early days of trains. It was interesting and has good photos.
Nile
Apr 08, 2009 Nile rated it liked it
I thought this book had a good point of view from Robert Stevenson's view. It was pretty good.
Rowan
Dec 27, 2011 Rowan rated it it was ok
Rather boring. . .I had to read it for school.
Maryann
Jun 09, 2013 Maryann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading with 8th grade English class.
Heather
Sep 12, 2011 Heather marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
1994 Orbis Pictus Award Winner
Katie
Jul 23, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
Totally interesting and personable
✯ Ruby
It was okay...
Mw Moses
Nov 17, 2013 Mw Moses added it
Shelves: m-s-list
09/13. Audio
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an American author of more than 35 nonfiction and fiction books for children, young adults, and general audiences, including more than 30 about American history. He won the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 2010 for his contribution in writing for teens. Jim lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, in a hundred-year-old house with his wife Alison Blank, a children’s TV produce ...more
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