Sunday, October 6, 2013


What an awesome book!  So, this book sat at the top of my CYBILS list for a long time.  It seemed like a no brainer to me that it should be included in our finalist shortlist.  Several other panelists seemed to agree based on their shortlists.  But some did not.  And their opinions made my own waver.  But don't worry, I'm still "on board".  Get it?  

During our discussions surrounding this book, it was pointed out that it has received wide praise and acclaim as well as seemingly unanimous glowing reviews.  I didn't know.  Granted, I'm on maternity leave.  I'm a little "out of touch". But I didn't realize I was that out of touch.  

I thought I had some clairvoyant ability to spot this amazing book.  Evidently a few other people have also recognized that this one is pretty special.  Full disclaimer, this book got knocked out of my top top spot at the eleventh hour by a book I hadn't gotten my hands on earlier in our reading, but I'm so very happy that Locomotive was included on our final list.  A few terms that I have heard or used but hadn't considered their origin prior to reading this book:

Full Steam many times have you said this?  When a straight path opened ahead of a train, it could pick up speed safely.  In order to pick up speed, it needed more steam or...full steam.

Double Header - I've thought of this expression as two baseball games in the same day.  Is that really even accurate.  Maybe I'm wrong about that, but in reading Locomotive I realize the origin of a double header is when a train needs two engines to climb a steep incline, this becoming a double header.

In addition to those fun facts, this book is full of onomatopoeia and offers great opportunity for teaching this figurative language element.  The book itself seems to naturally read much like a train trip.  I found myself reading as if we were chugging along.

ISBN: 978-1-4169-9415-2
Published 2013 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
I borrowed this copy from my public library to read and review.

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