Iron Horses


Iron Horses
Non fiction

The building of the transcontinental railroad

With ties and rails that thump and bump and spikes and nails that clang and bang, Iron Horses will let young children experience the building of the transcontinental railroad in a vibrant, expressive way. A combination of Verla Kay's unique cryptic rhyme and Michael McCurdy's dramatic colored scratchboard drawings make this special time in history come alive in a wonderful, new way.

Awards & Recommendations:

  • Children’s Book Council’s Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People list for 2000
  • Society of School Librarians International Honor Book 1999
  • Children’s Book Council’s Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People list

Starred Reviews:

  • Kirkus pointer review 1999: “Kay and McCurdy create a wonder-working setting for their book on the story behind the first transcontinental rail line. Words and image are of equal dramatic value, with McCurdy using his signature scratchboard illustrations washed in color, and Kay picking and choosing her words with such care that every one of them sparkles... Kay provides a verse for every page, bone-clean couplets that drive the story forward.”
  • School Library Journal 1999: “Rhythmic text and engaging illustrations capture the drama and excitement of the race to build the transcontinental railroad in the 1860’s... (Kay’s) careful choice of words results in a narrative that is fairly easy to follow, even for readers unfamiliar with the topic... Iron Horses also succeeds with its intended younger audience, offering just enough information in an exciting, well-paced package.”

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