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Tracks
by Diane Lee Wilson




Overview -
Can the railroad that is uniting America bridge the gap between two boys from different backgrounds?

Shortly after the Civil War, Malachy laces on his father's boots and travels to the American West to work on the transcontinental railroad that will unite the country. In addition to the challenge of the physically grueling work, Malachy also has to adjust to working with Chinese men and boys, whom he views with suspicion and contempt. Despite everything, Malachy gets by with his love for his fierce new dog, Brina, and Blind Thomas, the most hardworking and loyal railroad horse around.

But after a Chinese boy is blamed for stealing a bag of coins, Malachy begins to reconsider his prejudices--because Malachy is the real thief, and his conscience is uneasy. He begins to notice the many ways in which the Chinese workers are mistreated. And when real danger threatens, Malachy needs to find the courage to step up and do what's right.

Diane Lee Wilson's atmospheric writing vividly depicts the western landscape of America in the 1860s, bringing readers alongside Malachy--and his beloved horse and dog--as he navigates a bumpy moral terrain, and discovers a friendship he never knew was possible.

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More About Tracks by Diane Lee Wilson

 
 
 

Overview

Can the railroad that is uniting America bridge the gap between two boys from different backgrounds?

Shortly after the Civil War, Malachy laces on his father's boots and travels to the American West to work on the transcontinental railroad that will unite the country. In addition to the challenge of the physically grueling work, Malachy also has to adjust to working with Chinese men and boys, whom he views with suspicion and contempt. Despite everything, Malachy gets by with his love for his fierce new dog, Brina, and Blind Thomas, the most hardworking and loyal railroad horse around.

But after a Chinese boy is blamed for stealing a bag of coins, Malachy begins to reconsider his prejudices--because Malachy is the real thief, and his conscience is uneasy. He begins to notice the many ways in which the Chinese workers are mistreated. And when real danger threatens, Malachy needs to find the courage to step up and do what's right.

Diane Lee Wilson's atmospheric writing vividly depicts the western landscape of America in the 1860s, bringing readers alongside Malachy--and his beloved horse and dog--as he navigates a bumpy moral terrain, and discovers a friendship he never knew was possible.


This item is Non-Returnable.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442420137
  • ISBN-10: 1442420138
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publish Date: April 2012
  • Page Count: 276
  • Reading Level: Ages 10-14
  • Dimensions: 8.55 x 5.79 x 1.03 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.82 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

A transcontinental friendship

Late in 1866, a 13-year-old Irish lad named Malachy Gormley heads West to work for the Pacific Railroad and support his widowed mother and siblings back East. He’s big for his age and looking for adventure. Malachy doesn’t mind hard work, nor is he afraid to stand up for himself with the other men who, like him, must brave extreme temperatures, avalanches and dangerous working conditions to achieve this incredible enterprise—the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

Malachy befriends a feisty bulldog he names Brina and a dedicated horse, Blind Thomas. But he is less sure what to think about the Chinese workers who have also been recruited for this hazardous work, especially one young man, Chun Krowk Keung, whom he calls “Ducks.”

Diane Lee Wilson’s meticulous research and elegant prose make the story of Malachy and the challenges he faces a compelling read. She doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects, including the insults that the Chinese men endure, the tensions between the workers and Malachy’s struggles to find his moral compass.

An avid horse lover, Wilson has written about horses in such previous novels as Black Storm Comin’ and Firehorse. Here, she bases the endearing character of Blind Thomas on a horse who “may or may not have existed” named Blind Tom, who was called a hero at the Golden Spike ceremony in Promontory, Utah, that joined the tracks on May 10, 1869. In Tracks, Wilson has created a stirring coming-of-age story for young readers and a thoughtful account of a fascinating time in history.

 

BAM Customer Reviews