Spring 2017

The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad

 
Cover: The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad Spread: The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad
 
 

Gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Additional features include a table of contents, a Fast Facts spread, critical-thinking questions, primary source quotes and accompanying source notes, a phonetic glossary, an index, and sources for further research.

Table of Contents

  • Fast Facts and Timeline
  • Uniting a Nation
  • Theodore Judah’s Vision
  • Plans Develop, Problems Begin
  • Challenges
  • Success!
  • Think About It
  • Glossary
  • Source Notes
  • To Learn More
  • Index

Details

Specifications

Leveling

  • Suggested Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6
  • Suggested Reading Level: Grade 4
  • Lexile® Measure: 700
  • Guided Reading Level: V
  • ATOS Reading Level: 5.0
  • ATOS Interest Level: MG
  • Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 187487
  • Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5

BISAC Subjects

Reviews

A Review of "Engineering that Made America" in School Library Journal

Some engineering feats are so deeply woven into the fabric of the United States that it is hard to imagine a time when they were only an idea, a vision. This series explores the histories of various engineering marvels from their inception to the present day. Each title begins with a page of ‘Fast Facts,’ where a half-dozen key points such as location, size, purpose, and cost are listed. A page with a time line comes next, followed by the main content. The writing is substantive and engaging. Interspersed among solid answers to the wheres and hows are stories about some of the people involved. For instance, in Golden Gate Bridge, readers learn that a safety net for construction workers cost $100,000 to install. The author adds a human element by describing how one worker, Al Zampa, was saved by the net after he fell from a steel beam. The illustrations are amazing, especially photographs of the construction process. One image, for example, depicts workers standing outside a diversion tunnel in the Hoover Dam, who are tiny compared to the tunnel—a vivid reminder of the enormity of the project. VERDICT Top-notch selections for upper elementary collections.

A Review of "Engineering that Made America" in Booklist

Kids handed the Engineering That Made America series will be immediately drawn to its subject matter. In part, that’s because each title begins not with a feat of engineering but with a person. Golden Gate Bridge begins with one man, Michael O’ Shaughnessy, turning his impatience to get from Marin County to San Francisco into a structure that would alter the landscape of San Francisco as well as the lives of its citizens. Transcontinental Railroad follows several men who pursued the dream of building a railroad that would connect the eastern and western parts of the U.S., noting how the project relied on the labor of thousands of Chinese immigrants and displaced many Native Americans. Airplane introduces Orville and Wilbur Wright as children before delving into their failures and successes while figuring out the precise mechanics of human flight. Cotton Gin not only explains how Eli Whitney got the idea for the cotton gin but the hoops he had to jump through to get a patent; it also touches on what the cotton gin meant to enslaved people as well as their masters. The books are compact, easy to read, and feature engaging photographs and graphics. Although the engineering feats are simply discussed, the books clearly convey their scope and importance. A fresh slant on oft-written-about history.

Contributors

Author: Peggy Caravantes

After a career in education, Peggy Caravantes fulfilled a lifetime dream to write. She is the author of numerous children's history books and middle grade/young adult biographies. Caravantes holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and a master of educational administration degree. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

 

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