Aboard the Train

Aboard the Train : A Ewan Johns Adventure

4.5 (10 ratings by Goodreads)
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Magic isn't the only legacy Mr. Ian Johns wants for his bickering sons. The Postmaster hoped the boys would bond during a family trip, but they twist his vacation plans into a race. Ewan, Zane, and Ganix soon find themselves far from home, facing choices that are far from easy. Three routes stretch from coast to coast. The rules: each brother--and his two companions--must check in at post offices along their route. At these waypoints, they stamp in with their personal seal and report their progress by postcard.

Book #2, Aboard the Train is Ewan's first solo adventure. Having chosen the northern route, the eldest Johns brother is bound for Liberty's mountains. He takes the train, confident that he'll have a quick, comfortable ride to the finish line. But when Ewan stumbles upon two stowaways, they force him to change his plans.

The Byways books are a coming-of-age story times three with an educational twist. The storyline includes a states-based geography quest.

Welcome to Liberty: Big cities and hill-country outposts thrive on busy byways, but people are scarce in the Wilds, where mythical creatures are alive and well. Folks commonly use lanterns to light their homes, and peace is kept by rangers on horseback. In the Byways books, readers will encounter dragons, griffins, river monsters, and rogue magicians.

Magic is a rare trait that runs in families. Some magical gifts are quite useful; others are downright quirky. Like the talent inherited by members of the Johns family. They're Changers who can take the form of an animal. Not that magic will make winning the race any easier for Ewan, Zane, and Ganix.

Educational Twist: Each of the Byways books is tied to one of the fifty states and borrows from its history and geography--icons, mottos, landmarks, people, places, and famous firsts. They're hidden throughout the story, turning the series into one long game of hide-and-seek. At the end of each Byways book, there's a master list that covers everything from the state tree to the state insect. Nicknames, sports teams, state heroes, and national parks also find their way into the story. States are covered in order of ratification. Aboard the Train takes its cues from "The Keystone State," Pennsylvania.

"I homeschooled my children and they would have loved Byways. The books are a fun way for parents and kids to learn about history and geography, not to mention appreciation of the intricate, whimsical art." --Vanessa Morton, The Scriblerians

Chart your course to CJMilbrandt.com, where readers can stamp into the Waypoint Log and take part in a very special Hometown Challenge.

Excerpt: (from Byways Book #2, Aboard the Train, Chapter Three: "Stowaways")

"Who's there?" Ewan used a stern voice. Had he found another hobo? "Show yourself!"

From the straw in the corner, there came a small squeak.

Ewan frowned. The noise was too tiny to have come from a grown man. Maybe this wasn't a hobo after all. He crossed to the pile and pushed aside some of the loose straw. Two pairs of frightened eyes stared up at him. "Children?" he gasped.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 54 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 8mm | 272g
  • English
  • 1631230085
  • 9781631230080

Review quote

2016 Moonbeam Children's Book Award, "Best Book Series - Chapter Books"
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Rating details

10 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 60% (6)
4 30% (3)
3 10% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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