"Locomotive," by Brian Floca

Summer might be here, but don’t hit the slide and slip back in your reading skills. Check books out at your library. All Newsbee’s Picks can be found there! The students whose reviews appear here will receive a copy of next month’s Pick in their age category. These prize books come compliments of the Washington Optimist Club.

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“Steam Train, Dream Train,” by Sherri Duskey Rinker.

Reviewed by Hayden Ley, second grade, St. John the Baptist-Gildehaus School.

“I thought this book would be about a train. It was about animals on a train. There were dinosaurs on the train. They worked hard on the train.

“At the end, we saw it might be a toy train. I liked this book because animals worked on the train. I would recommend this book to my sister because she likes books.”

Reviewed by Andrew Busch, second grade, St. John the Baptist-Gildehaus School.

“I thought it would be about a train. It was about a train that was run by animals. I liked it because the pictures looked like a dream. I would recommend it to animals, if they could read.”

Reviewed by Addison Schmelz, second grade, St. John-Gildehaus School.

“I thought it would be about a dream train. It was about a toy train and what it did at night. I liked the story because I like animals. I would recommend this book to my sister because she likes trains.”

Reviewed by Joseph Zagarri, kindergarten, Beaufort Elementary School.

“I loved this book! The animals were so funny, especially the monkeys. The train carried toys, paint, ice cream and sand! Everything kids want. The animals played a lot and ate snacks.

“In the end, all the animals went to sleep and so did the boy who was dreaming about the train in his room. “Steam Train, Dream Train…chhhhhh…goodnight.” All kids would like this book!

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“Locomotive,” by Brian Floca.

Reviewed by Isabelle Zagarri, third grade, Beaufort Elementary.

“This is a good book. It’s about a mom with kids traveling to go see their dad working in California in the old days. It was written about the adventures riding in the train and all they saw.

“They would stop at different cities and eat. (The food the had back then, doesn’t sound good at all! Antelope and prairie pog…ewww! ) I never knew how many workers it took to run a steam train.

“This book reminded me of the time my family rode the train from Washington to Jefferson City! I can imagine the kids in the story, just like me, looking out the window and playing cards. I would recommend this book to kids who love trains and traveling.”

Reviewed by Nathan Guzy, second grade, St. John the Baptist-Gildehaus School.

“I thought this book would be about trains. It was about a railroad. The train was shiny. The firemen helped keep the train going. People hear the train coming.

“I like this book because I like trains too. I am not like [the characters in the book.]” I am not going to be a train conductor. I did learn about the railroad.”

Reviewed by Madison Raymond, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“I really liked this story. It kind of turned into a history lesson on trains. It felt like I was in the train. You can learn a lot about locomotives in this book. You should read this book too. I think you’ll like it.

“When I first looked at the book I thought it would be about someone who steered a train, but I was wrong. It turned out completely different. I would recommend this book for all who have never ridden a train. You could learn about it and then when you do go on a train you’ll know all about it.”

Reviewed by Charles Niehaus, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“The locomotive railroad began in Omaha, Nebraska, but for it to go on the man working on the train puts coal in the engine and makes steam which makes it run. For the passengers to get on they sold all of their stuff. When the people go to the bathroom, it just goes to the ground.

“The waitress sold cigars and maps, candies, soap and towels. They stopped to get another engine so they cold go to the top of the mountains. I recommend this book to my cousin because he likes trains.”

Reviewed by Gisele Bolzenius, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“This book is great. It is a good book to learn about a steam engine and how it works. I will recommend this book to me. My great grandpa was working on the railroad. A guy was up the hill and let the cart go and he died. I miss him.

“In the train it had a toilet and it had a hole in the train and that’s where [the waste] went. The passengers went all the way to California. The family in the train moved there.”

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“Boundless,” by Kenneth Oppel.

Reviewed by Newsbee.

It’s full steam ahead for “The Boundless,” an adventure complete with sasquatches, circus feats, mechanical puppets and a futuristic train that defies belief.

The Boundless is over five miles long, and commandeered by Will’s dad. That leaves the boy time to derail a scheme a bold, bad guy has planned to nab a golden spike locked inside a funeral car carrying the body of a deceased railroad magnate.

Will knows all about the treasure; he was there three years before when the last rail was laid, and the spike was driven into place. In those days, Will and his father were poor, but when Will saved the spike from the same bad guy that’s still after it, the railroad magnate rewarded his dad with cash.

When the Boundless is ready for her first trip West, Will and his dad are invited along on the trip that nearly turns deadly, but also offers Will the chance to perform with a circus onboard the train. That’s how he meets Maren, a girl with a gift for tightrope walking.

They join forces in a book that’s chugga, chugga, choo-choo great.