Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Kit's Railway Adventure (The American Girls Collection)

Kit's Railway Adventure (The American Girls Collection)

Harriet Brown, Jodi Evert, Betsy Henry Pringle, J. Max Steinmetz
Novelty Book  Series
For ages 8 and up
Pleasant Company, 2003   ISBN: 1584855754

Kit Kittredge is going on a real adventure, and this is Kit’s travel diary. Thanks to her writing skills, she has won a trip to Glacier Park. Kit won the trip when she wrote a winning essay in a nationwide contest about "The Best Part of the new Deal.” Kit was able to choose where she wanted to go and chose Glacier Park because that is where her brother is working. Kit's brother, like many out-of-work young men, joined the CCC or Civilian Conservation Corps. This wonderful organization has allowed many young men to have much needed jobs building roads, putting out forest fires and in general, making America's beautiful natural places more accessible to the public. The wages the young men earn make a huge difference to their families, often saving them from ending up on the street. Kit is terribly proud of her brother and wants to see the beautiful place where he is based.

With Aunt Millie as her companion, Kit sets out on the train for Chicago where she has a two-day pass to the 1934 World's fair. The fair is a wonderful place full of interesting sites and people. At Chicago Kit and Aunt Millie get onto the Empire Builder railway. We follow Kit's adventures as the train carries her through Minnesota, North Dakota, and into Montana. Here, at Glacier Park, Kit sees her brother again. She also makes friends with a young Blackfoot girl, Mary Kicking Horse, and last but by no means least, Kit is introduced to President and Mrs. Roosevelt who are visiting the park.

Not only is the story in this book fascinating and delightful but its presentation gives the reader the feeling that he or she is really reading Kit's travel diary. In the book, there are lots of photographs and postcards 'pasted' into the diary. Mementos from places she visited are also pasted into the book; there is a train ticket, a menu, a baseball card, a rubbing from a horse saddle, and a booklet about Glacier Park. The reader will also find autographs from the President and Mrs. Roosevelt on the pages. There are envelopes to open and even a decoder to use.  A 'time capsule" of the United States during the 1930's, this is a wonderful 'interactive' book for anyone who loves history, travel, diaries and journals. This is