What Shall We Read To The Children: Treasure's from the Hunt Collection of Children's Literature
Chicken WorldThe Farm BookPocahontas and Capt. John Smith • The Railroad Book • The Seashore Book


The Railroad Book; Bob and Betty's Summer on the Railroad, story and pictures by E. Boyd Smith (Houghton Mifflin, 1913). The third installment of the "adventures of Bob and Betty" ranks as Smith’s masterpiece. The children no longer live in the city, and as the story opens construction of a rail spur is just getting under way within viewing distance of their home. As naturally curious as ever, Bob and Betty "asked many questions," writes the author approvingly, "till the subject of railroads became to [them] as interesting as a real fairy story."

To the extent that Smith favored the "real" magic of industrial-age wizardry over the kinds of wonderment to be gleaned from fantastic old tales about castles and kings, America’s transcontinental railroad system must have seemed a mother lode of promising material. In this ambitious work, he lovingly documents not only the mighty machinery associated with train travel at the turn of the last century, but also the social rituals and passing sights and scenery that made turn-of-the-century rail travel such a thrilling experience. Originally intended to entertain while also informing young people about their rapidly changing world, The Railroad Book encapsulates for readers of today the story of a critical phase of our nation’s economic growth and westward expansion.



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