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Danny and Life on Bluff Point The Man on the Train
By m j . hollingshead
Last edited: Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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Danny books lend themselves well to reading aloud followed by a discussion time regarding life in rural America during the late 1800s.


The Review

Ma has taken the train to Hall’s corner with her mother, Grandmother Scott.  They are visiting Great Grandpa Hall who is seventy one years old.  Mary’s annoyance with Danny and his day dreaming has not yet been resolved and he and Mary are not yet friends again as the Danny saga continues. 

Danny is a little worried about trying to make pancakes for breakfast.  Cooking on the wood stove is proving daunting to sister Ruth who is trying to fills Ma’s shoes while Ma is away. 

Iceboating on the lake, Uncle Jerome, a trip across the ice to Crosby, crabby cousin Al, a visit with Grandma Baker, Cousin Marion and Cousin Al all provide exciting fun for the family.  Grandma regales the family with tales of her life. 

She and her husband shared a trip along canals, passing through locks, and a chance meeting with an elderly couple filled Grandma’s tale.  At last Ma comes home, the family has a get together with Uncle Philo and Aunt Clelli, the children have fun with yo-yos, and the ice begins breaking up. 

Driving pigs home becomes quite an adventure, as Uncle Ed and Danny go to a neighboring farm to bring home the family sows.  Using stout sticks they get the pigs heading home without too much trouble, it isn’t too long until the sows have notions of their own and  begin to wander off the roadway.   

Grandpa Smith, a blacksmith and a farmer is going to move and Danny wonders how his life is going to change.  Danny and the men busy themselves with preparing the household goods for the move.  Uncle John and Uncle Edward will take a load of goods to Gorham in the horse-drawn democrat wagon.  

Danny is a little concerned about traveling to Gorham on the train to visit his Grandparents and help with the unloading and setting up of the new home.  He has apprehension about being with so many strangers.   During the trip Danny proves himself a hero when a stranger with a cigar tries to hurt sister Mary.

It is now March 1895 as the Danny saga continues.  Danny and Life on Bluff Point The Man on the Train is the fourth in the series.  Danny is the only boy in the family and is expected to do his share of the chores on the family farm.  His small size and lack of strength is the bane of Danny’s existence as he hopes to grow taller and stronger like his Pa.  Danny is determined to contribute to the well being of his family. 

It was when Mary Ellen Lee began transcribing her grandfather’s journal into her word processor that the idea for the Danny books was born.  Each well written edition is a compilation of several vignettes surrounding a central theme.  Target audience for the tales is the middle grade reading audience.  The Danny books are a good addition to the middle grade social studies program.  

Danny books lend themselves well to reading aloud followed by a discussion time regarding life in rural America during the late 1800s.  Danny shares his feelings and escapades, accomplishments and trials and illustrates them with his line drawings.  Ten year old Danny craves more responsibility as he is determined to prove his worth to himself and to his family.   The physical and financial hardship facing his family is something Danny feels keenly

 The Danny books are an excellent addition to the personal reading shelf, the class reading list and the school library.

Interesting read  …   Recommended    …     5  stars


Reviewed by: Molly's Reviews

molly martin 
20+ years classroom teacher


TITLE:  Danny and Life on Bluff Point The Man on the Train

Genre: historical fiction.

Author: Mary Ellen Lee

Line/Publisher  iUniverse

ISBN: 0595324347



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Reviewed by Mary Coe 6/10/2008
Very nice book review.
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 6/10/2008
i think i would love these books--well written review!

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