Books Reviews

On the Blue Comet Book Review

By Angela Youngman Jan 24, 2011, 20:58 GMT

On the Blue Comet  Book Review

Trains and time travel spur one boy\'s thrilling adventure as he seeks to rejoin his father in a new classic from Rosemary Wells and Bagram Ibatoulline.One day in a house at the end of Lucifer Street, on the Mississippi River side of Cairo, Illinois, eleven-year-old Oscar Ogilvie\'s life is changed forever. The Crash of 1929 has rippled across the country, and Oscar\'s dad must sell their home-with all their cherished ...more

An ingenious storyline which is definitely different to traditional time travel stories.  The 1929 Crash means that Oscar Ogilvee has to go and live with his aunt, while his father seeks work in California.  All their cherished model trains have to be sold to provide much needed cash. 

Lonely and miserable; Oscar makes friends with Mr Appletree, a teacher who has fallen on hard times. While talking to Mr Appletree; Oscar witnesses a crime.  Trying to escape; Oscar falls into a model railway layout - and finds himself catapulted into the future. 

His attempts to return to his own time - and change the course of events so that a murder is not committed thus remaking history - result in a fantastic train journey form coast to coast across America.  There are lots of meetings with Hollywood stars and historical characters including Joan Crawford and Alfred Hitchcock. It is very well plotted and keeps the readers attention throughout. 

Oscar is a believable hero, you can sympathise with him and live the story through his activities.  An added advantage is the wonderful period illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline, which give a tremendous sense of what life was like at that time. 

This is a story which will appeal to any older child or teenager who enjoys adventure, a touch of fantasy, films and history not to mention trains!  Not to be missed.

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