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Fran Cannon Slayton

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When the Whistle Blows
by Fran Cannon Slayton   

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Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Philomel Books Type: 


Copyright:  June 2009 ISBN-13:  9780399251894

“When the railroad’s in your blood, it draws you like a pump draws water from the ground.”

Meet a town and a train and a time and a boy - Jimmy Cannon. And meet his father - as strong as a Mallet locomotive - whom Jimmy simply cannot figure out! But who, in a dramatic and breathtaking twist, turns out to be so much more than Jimmy ever knew.

In a book that goes to the core of boyhood - its Halloween mischief, its hunting day mystery, its championship game surprise, and nighttime adventures - Fran Cannon Slayton brings her readers to the exhilarating crossroads of an unforgettable West Virginia railroad town and adulthood itself.


Professional Reviews

Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank and Identical and National Book Award finalist
“When the Whistle Blows is reminiscent of classic tales by Jack London, William Golding and Robert Louis Stevenson, yet carries the remarkable, fresh voice of its author. Fran Cannon Slayton should be extremely proud of this, her debut novel.”

Richard Peck, author of A Year Down Yonder
“With wit and warmth Fran Cannon Slayton recounts a steam-driven coming of age story in the last of the real railroad days.”

Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production (School Library Journal)
“From its whip-smart opening to its look at the complexity of father/son relationships, Slayton’s loving novel takes a long hard look at the death of people and that intangible idea of ‘home’ . . . ‘When the Whistle Blows’ stopped me in my tracks.”

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