Saturday, March 12, 2011
On the Blue Comet
Growing up, my grandfather allowed me to play with his Lionel trains. Consequently, I related to many parts of the book. But I also kept wondering for whom Rosemary Wells wrote. Many of her historic references (Life magazine, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Clark Gable, etc.) will be lost on and uninteresting to today's young readers. I found the time travel weakly developed and even confusing, especially in chapter 17.
BooksForKidsBlog and School Library Journal both like and recommend the book. Reading from a kid's point of view, I maintain it won't be popular with young readers. I agree with Daniel Kraus, writing for Booklist, "The plot’s Twilight Zone potential—the intriguing concept of a spectral train providing haven for unhappy children—is not thoroughly plumbed, and one wonders at the appeal of such a retro story."