|Iron rails, iron men, and the race to link the nation : the story of the transcontinental railroad|
Author: Sandler, Martin W.
A riveting story about the building of the transcontinental railroad.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 8.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 176183
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 10.70
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 66881
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/15)
School Library Journal (08/01/15)
The Hornbook (00/11/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 7 Up—Sandler chronicles the development of the transcontinental railroad, from its genesis through its legacy, with an abundance of photographs and lively text. Alternating chapters describe the progress made by the two companies—the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific—and the author incorporates maps and images, appropriately placed along the way, to further convey the magnitude of the railroad. The pacing, particularly when the two teams meet, is spot-on and mimics the advances of a train. Sandler tempers this engineering feat with details about the corruption that surrounded it, the "Hell on Wheels" towns that appeared alongside the tracks, and the human and environmental toll it took, which enables readers to look critically at an historical event. Sidebars and primary sources, which highlight people and innovations and enrich the narrative, interrupt the story's flow in a few places. Even though Sandler expounds throughout on the sacrifices made by Chinese workers and the irreparable impact on Native Americans and their culture, the book is written from the perspective of those in power. VERDICT Sandler tells a good story, filled with complex characters, adventure, and heartache, and he meticulously documents his research efforts.—Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2015 No one knows who first envisioned a transcontinental railroad, but its completion would open up the American West and forever change the country as a whole. In stunning detail, Sandler recounts the race between competing eastern and western railroad companies to lay the most miles of tracks before they were linked, resulting in “the most dramatic and most heralded race the nation had ever known,” and accomplished entirely by hand. He describes the greed, corruption, and violence that followed the tracks as he introduces the key players in the construction and financing, the horrible working conditions, and the rough terrain. Sandler emphasizes throughout that the project would never have been completed without the labor of 10,000 Chinese men. While the transcontinental railroad brought speed and efficiency—most notably, reducing a six-month cross-country trip to less than a week—not everyone benefited. Conflicts with Native Americans, whose land was invaded, are also discussed. A plethora of archival photographs highlight daring men and rugged landscapes in this well-researched and fascinating adventure in history. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.