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On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells
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Jun 29, 10


** spoiler alert ** In 1929, in Cairo, Illinois, eleven-year-old Oscar Ogilvie’s life is changed forever. Because of the stockmarket Crash of 1929, Oscar’s dad must sell their home—with all their beloved model trains—and head west in search of work. Forced to move in with his humorless aunt, Carmen and his teasing cousin, Willa Sue, Oscar is lonely and miserable—until he meets a mysterious drifter and witnesses a crime so stunning it catapults Oscar on an incredible train journey from coast to coast, from one decade to another. (exerpt from Goodreads summary)

Rosemary Wells combines trains, both model and real, and time travel into a suspenseful journey moving through America in the twenties to 1941 and back. Oscar's love for model trains and his father drives this novel. Wells weaves history and historical figures into the tale, featuring rich New Yorkers and Hollywood actors. Wells leaves some clues to the identity of Dutch, a former lifeguard, who boards the train to LA from Des Moines, and becomes an actor, and beyond the story, much more.

I read this as an ARC, and look forward to the full color illustrations to come. For readers grades 4-7.
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