BOOK REVIEWS

Casey Jones Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-05-08 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 3 user ratings
ISBN:0374311757
LANGUAGE:English

" Very nice little picture book that was on my shelf. Going to donate it to the library. I didn't know the story of sacrifice. " said.

" True story of Casey Jones--somewhere there has got to be a 5-star version of this story. . . " said.

" This is a great book about a historical figure. My son was fascinated. He wanted more explanation about what happened to Casey Jones and how and why (he's 4!). One nice surprise was that in giving a bit of history about the railroad system in the USA he did make mention of the "railroading" of the native peoples and what a terrible thing that was. " said.

" Based on a true story about a famous railroad engineer, Casey Jones, who gave his life to save all the passengers on his train. It is in rhyme and although it is quite wordy, it is easy to read and my son asked me to read it to him over and over again (very rare I might add). Lots of interesting facts and pof course boys love trains! I was surprised how much Matthew enjoyed the information that was possibly beyond him. Maybe it wasn't beyond him after all. " said.

"I am ashamed to say I didn't know the story of Casey Jones before I read this book, but had heard the name connected with trains. I also did not read this book before reading it aloud to my son. I was kind of shocked at the content but my just turned 4-year-old was just fine with it all and he loves the book. You decide if your child is ready for this story.
This is a true story that took place in the year 1900 in America. To make a long story short, Casey Jones (a Caucasian) was an engineer of a steam locomotive who was never late with his passengers. One night there was a broken down freight train stuck on the track and they were headed right for it, going to collide. Casey realized that he would be killed so he told his fireman (an African American) to jump to save his life. The fireman jumped and lived to tell the tale. Casey pulled the break and the locomotive was smashed to smithereens and he was killed. All the passengers lived and escaped serious harm. Casey is called an American hero because he saved the lives of the passengers and gave his own life to save them.
So my son is fine with this. We had discussed death in the past and he understands the concept of death and that people die. He also understands that crashes/accidents sometimes result in injury or death. When I first read this I was surprised at a picture book for young children containing a story about the death of an engineer. But since he was fine with it and it was a heroic death, I am fine with it as well. My devil's advocate says that sometimes we shelter our children from knowing about death, while another part of me questions at what age they should be exposed to discussions about death.
The only other possibly controversial image and text refers to the western settlers and railroads.."their power brought destruction, the death of a way of life, disaster for the Native American", and shows a Native American sprawled on the ground with eyes closed, as if dead, clutching a rifle. I just have not broached the whole subject with my son yet, I think the whole Native American element and the history of the settlement of the west, is a bit beyond his ability to comprehend, at this age of just turned 4 years old. We are struggling with discussions about war and guns and killing. Some discussions we've had as a result of seeing some commercials on TV with war images have so far resulted in nightmares. I just wanted to let you know about these components so you can decide if this book is right for your child.
The illustrations are fun and cartoon like, as seen on the cover.
" said.

"Little train fanatics will love this book, and older children will hear a message of a self-sacrificing American. Great illustrations - some of the pages are divided into quick-moving panels. Don't skip the Author's Note." said.

May 2017 New Book:

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