I recently decided to try my hand at book reviews and I decided I would share some of these reviews on my blog. Those of you who know me well are aware of my ongoing love of fantasy novels. Because of this, it may surprise you to discover my first review is NOT a fantasy novel. In keeping with my blog title, I thought it would be appropriate to try a little change. I know . . . it's unnerving. Take a moment, check the link . . . yep, you're in the right place.
Okay, here we go! No, wait. I guess I better explain my rating system first.
My rating system:
A+--I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book. In most cases, I passed it on to my teen.
A--I enjoyed this book and I might pass it on to my teen.
B--I liked this book, but probably won't pass it on to my teen.
C--I thought it was okay, but I won't pass it on to my teen.
D--I didn't like this book, and won't allow my teen to read it.
F--I hope I never have to go here. =D
I will give reasons for my rating in my review, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If you find your book here, don't panic if I rate it below an A. These are my personal preferences and I'm only one small person in a large market. =D
Okay, now here we go.
For my first review, it was my privilege to receive an ARC of
WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS by Fran Cannon Slayton
Age level: 9+ Teen
Release date: June 11, 2009
"When the Whistle Blows" follows Jimmy Cannon through four years of his life in the railroad town of Rowlesburg, West Virginia in the 1940s. Jimmy grows up before the reader's eyes as he struggles to come to terms with his changing world. From Halloween pranks, to football games, to secret societies, Jimmy rushes through life like one of the steam trains he is so fond of. But the lessons he learns will stay in his mind and heart long after the train whistle is silent.
And they will stay with this reader, too. I specifically enjoyed how each chapter was a new year of Jimmy's life and always began on his father's birthday, which happens to be Halloween. Jimmy started out as a boy and by the end, was well on his way to being a man. The book took me full circle on a journey I will never forget. Though steam trains are no longer a prevalent part of society, I will still think of this book and remember Jimmy's journey whenever I hear a train whistle blow. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with the characters in this book.
There was not a lot of foul language. I don't remember any, but there may have been a couple of D or S words (I tend to not remember foul language if it is used sparingly). There weren't any sexual connotations (that I recall), and I enjoyed the glimpse into the life of a small railroad community during a time when Diesel engines were taking over. Historic/contemporary books are not my usual read, but this was a delightful way to step outside my comfort zone.