Foreword Reviews

Emma and the Silk Train

The derailment of a silk train along the Fraser River in British Columbia in 1927, called the “Million Dollar Train Wreck,” is the basis for this children’s adventure story. A Vancouver Island children’s author brings to life the small town anticipation and excitement of the high-speed trains that carried valuable Chinese silk across the country to markets in New York. Young Emma discovers and captures a bale of silk floating in the river after the wreck, but the current carries her downstream. When she manages to reach a small island, her resourcefulness ensures her rescue.

Illustrator Paul Mombourquette captures all the drama and emotion of the spunky Emma and her worried family, and includes detailed illustrations of the remote town and its inhabitants. A historical note at the end explains why the trains traveled at such a high speed—raw fibers and finished cloth were insured by the hour, and the trains also carried cocoons of perishable live silkworms.

A satisfying selection and a novel method to introduce young children to history and the excitement of the recent past, the book is suitable for listening or independent reading.

Reviewed by Shirley Murray

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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