Monday, September 14, 2009

Review and Giveaway - When The Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton

When The Whistle Blows
Fran Cannon Slayton
159 pgs. (ARC)

Jimmy tells the history of his family. His father's work with the railroads and how his dad, WP, never wanted any of the children to follow in his footsteps. But that's what each boy dreamed of, it was in his blood. Another thing each boy wants is to belong to The Society - just like their fathers before them...

Each chapter, with the exception of the first, starts on Halloween. It just so happens that All Hallow's Eve is old WP's birthday. Each year, Jimmy recounts the events of that day: focusing mostly on the tricks and the doings of "The Society". It serves to move the story quickly but at the same time allows us to focus on the growing and changing relationship between Jimmy, his dad, and his brothers.

My Thoughts
I've read this book twice in as many months. The story rings true and the tales are honest, open and sometimes, heartbreaking. We meet Jimmy when he's around 11 or 12. His brother Mike gets him outta bed and takes him on a secret adventure to see The Society in action. They see their dad, their brother Bill and some other townsmen. They're in a circle around Uncle Dick who died just two days ago...

"I remember Dick...the day he met Aunt Mary...I never heard half of this stuff before. I knew he was a really great uncle, come I never really knew?" (16)

We follow Jimmy through grade school. Laughing at the Halloween prank they barely survive on until he gets to the high school football team. Each year we see them grow older, Jimmy and WP.

"I cut my eyes back towards him and see just about the orneriest grin I've ever seen on a person. And even though I don't really want to, I can't help but crack a half smile myself. Because I know I'll never understand that man." (106)

Throughout the story, Jimmy continues his love affair with the railroad. He wants to be just like dad, and Mike and Bill. But his dad is just as adamant that he cannot do that.

"Promise me Jimmy...promise me you'll...(122)

When the Whistle Blows is beautiful. We are reading this at school as part of our teacher's book club. Look for thoughts from the teachers!

When The Whistle Blows book trailer with Fran Cannon Slayton

Fran Cannon Slayton is giving away a SIGNED ARC of When The Whistle Blows!
If you want to see for yourself what it's all about - please enter!
Just leave a comment with your email address.
I would appreciate if you let me know if you review the book! One entry per person. US ONLY!


  1. Sounds like a wonderful book...please count me in...thanks.

    karen k

  2. sounds like a good one especially with the railroad connection.

    BTW: you've just been awarded...

  3. Looks good. Thanks for the giveaway.
    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

  4. Hey!
    She also has a giveaway for teachers and librarians to win a class set of 30 books!

  5. Such a wonderful review! This book does sound good. Please enter me. :)


  6. I would love to win! I met this author briefly at BEA before her book came out and it sounded like such an interesting read.

    Thanks so much for the entry.

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

  7. Sue - you are the winner! I will email you for your address. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Thanks for chatting! I love comments and look forward to reading yours! I may not reply right away, but I am listening! Keep reading and don't forget to be awesome!


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