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When the Whistle Blows

When the Whistle Blows - Fran Cannon Slayton Set in the 1940s, the reader is taken for a non-stop ride into this fabulous coming-of-age story. The book centers around the life of a young boy who lives, breaths, and eats trains. Told in form of vignettes, the reader gets a snap shot in each chapter of a day in Jimmy's life from 1943 until 1949. One interesting aspect is that they are always on a particular day -- All Hallows Eve, which also happens to be his father's birthday. This fascinating novel gives the reader a glimpse into a time and place that is much different from the world we live in now.As an English major, I have taken plenty of children and adolescent literature classes, and this wonderful novel could have easily been used in any of these classes. This book is bound to be a favorite to many young boys (and possibly girls) who have a love for trains and adventure. I have to say that I have always been a fan of trains, so it was nice to see how well researched this novel was. Every thing for the feel of the town to the trains themselves feel authentic and well researched. I truly enjoyed this lovely story that took me back to a simpler time.