Book Review: Shortcut

Rating: ★★★★☆

Here is another excellent simple book for young train lovers by the inimitable Donald Crews.  This book, unlike his more sedate offerings, is quite a thriller.  The story starts out serenely when a group of children, hurrying home late, decide to take the forbidden train tracks home.  They think all will be well until one of them hears the whistle of an unscheduled train and they must decide which way to run to get out of the way in time.  Written with consummate skill, the tale builds in tension as the distant train whistle gets louder and louder, until it reaches a clickety-clacking climax with the children cowering in darkness while the train rushes past.  It’s thrilling, but scary enough that it is unlikely to provoke copycat behavior — in fact, it may serve as a cautionary tale.

My only problem with the story is that after their brush with death, the children do not talk about their experience again.  A more healthy response to a potentially traumatic event would be to confide in trustworthy adults.  But we can’t fault Crews too much, since the story is apparently autobiographical.  It’s dedicated to a list of first-named people, with the comment, “All’s well that ends well.”

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Publication Information: Crews, Donald. Shortcut. Greenwillow. 1992. ISBN: 0688135765.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 00-04
Tags: , , , ,

Posted on November 9, 2011


No responses yet. You could be the first!

Leave a Response