In the summer of 1879, the young writer Robert Louis Stevenson received a telegram from America. Fanny, a dear friend in California, was ill. Stevenson packed his bags and left his home in Scotland. When the steamer reached the east coast of America, his journey had just begun. Stevenson had little money, so he traveled across America the cheapest way: he went by train. The trip from New York to Monterey, California, would take two exciting weeks. As the train chugged up mountains, through Indian territory, and over trestle bridges, Stevenson recorded his impressions of the rough, vast country and the people he met. Jim Murphy weaves a lively account of Stevenson's journey with fascinating glimpses of the construction of the transcontinental railroad. It is a vivid introduction to one of the most important chapters in the history of the American West. Richard M. Davidson's compelling narration makes the personal journey and the historical information truly accessible to young listeners.
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"Murphy has used Robert Louis Stevenson's 1879 trip across America and entries from Stevenson's own journals to recreate this wonderful slice of Americana. Davidson's outstanding ability to capture the sound of early American voices makes this at once interesting and enjoyable for young listeners. Stevenson's horrendous experience crossing the Atlantic and his equally harrowing train trip across the United States are rendered in a style reminiscent of a great teacher or storyteller relaying a tale that modern Americans can barely imagine. Davidson splendidly enhances an interesting story with minimal dramatic flourishes. This excellent and easy way to learn American history is not to be missed. S.G.B. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine"
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