Casey Jones's Fireman: The Story of Sim Webb

Front Cover
Phyllis Fogelman Books, 1999 - Juvenile Fiction - 34 pages
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THE TALE OF CASEY JONES has inspired many songs and stories. Now Nancy Farmer, two-time Newbery Honor winner, brings us an entirely new account of what might have happened on that fateful night, told from the perspective of the legendary engineer's fireman, Sim Webb.

Sim Webb was born to work for the railroad. He's a fireman -- shoveling coal into the furnace that heats the steam for the train engine. Sim works with Casey Jones, the railroad's best engineer. And Casey Jones has the best and biggest steam whistle on any train. That is, until Casey and Sim meet a sinister redheaded gentleman who offers Casey an even larger whistle made all of gold and with a heavenly sound. Casey must have the whistle at any cost, but Sim realizes that the unearthly whistle does not belong in human hands. Can Sim stop Casey from using the golden whistle before it dooms not only the train, but the entire world?

Using the famous incident from the lives of Sim Webb and Casey Jones, who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad in the last years of the nineteenth century, Nancy Farmer has crafted a thrilling tale of mythic proportions. And James Bernardin's vivid illustrations bring history and fable alive.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drhode3 - LibraryThing

The story of Sim Webb is about a real person but told in an interesting way making it historical fiction. The story is a great example of multiculturalism and its connection to African American ... Read full review

References to this book

Casey Jones
Stephen Krensky
Limited preview - 2006

About the author (1999)

Nancy Farmer has written three Newbery Honor books: "The Ear, the Eye and the Arm"; "A Girl Named Disaster"; and "The House of the Scorpion", which, in 2002, also won the National Book Award and the Printz Honor. Other books include "The Sea of Trolls", "The Land of the Silver Apples", "The Islands of the Blessed", "Do You Know Me", "The Warm Place", and three picture books for young children. She grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border and now lives with her family in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona.

James Bernardin is a versatile and prolific illustrator of many acclaimed books for children. He has illustrated Laura Numeroff's Would I Trade My Parents?, Eve Bunting's Too Many Monsters, and Candy Chand's The Twelve Prayers of Christmas. He has also created artwork for numerous book covers, including Mary Pope Osborne's Tales from the Odyssey series.

James lives on Bainbridge Island in Washington State with his wife, Lisa, and two sons, Wyeth and Bryson.

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