Steam on the Line

Steam on the Line

4.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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When they discover that someone is trying to sabotage one of the first steam-driven trains to come to their town, two children risk their lives to save it and its more

Product details

  • Hardback | 168 pages
  • 140 x 220mm
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Ill.
  • 0192712845
  • 9780192712844

Review Text

Darnley Mills without Peter, Arthur and David is something of an historical curiosity. David's grandfather (whose nickname - Taffy - may have trouble crossing the Atlantic) was the first to see the (railroad) steam come round the bend but often this account of it has a hard time making the turn of the century. Hindsight abounds: ("A boy, a driver, and a fireman in the cab of a primitive engine. . . not knowing that they were the heralds of change such as the world had never known") and seriously intrudes upon the mobile adventuring of Taffy and neighbor Sarah. Taffy's father worked his way up from navvy on the Line to minor administrator so the boy knows the inside story, while his youth allows him to roam among the locals for more color; an early Bridgebolton, as overdrawn as the Lady in the author's last (Sea Peril, 1967); self-acclaimed "Elijah," a Luddite venting his wrath against this unnatural use of the countryside; Round Annie, rotund chef of the navvies, and her fighting friend, Dublin Pat; scheming Harry Jenner, the simple coachman afraid of losing his living; and a Grundy Miss Grant ("not in my school") to pooh-pooh all the excitement until the first passenger train pulls by. Their psalm recitation practice on the way to school has, like much of the dialogue, the sharpness of the earlier books but too much of the narrative should be streamlined. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

3 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
5 67% (2)
4 0% (0)
3 33% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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