Title: Go West!
Author: Pascal Blanchet
Major Themes: Geography, North America, Trains
Synopsis: As you travel by train across the United States and Canada, you will learn about the history of trains.
Who isn’t fascinated with trains? I know my boys love them! We enjoyed reading Go West! together one evening recently. This interesting book combines the history of trains with the history and geography of the United States and Canada.
As you travel through this book, you begin your trip in Montreal. Your ticket appears as you reach each new stop, and the conductor punches it to show where you are. Not only are the cities you pass through described, and some of the large stations, you also get to learn about various locomotives that have been used, beginning with the Tom Thumb in 1830. Some of the more special passenger cars are described, too, so you can imagine you are actually riding on a train!
I enjoyed some of the words that were used in this story. For example, near the beginning, mention was made of how someone “bankrolled” a locomotive. Someone piped up with a question about what that word meant, so I got to add to everyone’s vocabulary.
There is also a map near the beginning. I was glad for that, because when we first saw the ticket, I tried to describe the route. Then, we turned the page and found the map, so I could show them what I was talking about.
My younger boys didn’t really enjoy this book much. They thought it was too boring. I liked, it, though, just as an aid to learning the geography of North America!
I received a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley, and chose to share my honest opinion.
WARNING: Three million years is mentioned at stop 12.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12