Review 5 star
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The Freight Train in the Sky is a sweet, easy-to-read chapter book for children. Author Holden Russell introduces young readers to an orphan named Paul, who lives with nuns in an orphanage because his parents died as a result of widespread disease. Although well cared for, Paul feels lonely and has never fully faced the grief of losing his parents. He channels his emotions into a fascination with the stars and with mythology. After studying constellations and myths through books, he sees a shooting star and goes on a journey through the constellations on a train run by a benevolent spirit man called the Conductor. And Paul soon finds the heavenly realms hold something he could never have hoped to wish for.
The Freight Train in the Sky is a beautifully told narrative. Lightly floating sentences and expert storytelling created some amazing visual images that made me feel like I was watching a good animated movie. I got really got entranced by Holden’s Russell’s superficially simple, but emotionally very charged tale. The adventure aspect is just what beginning readers and their parents look for in a fantasy story as the majestic legendary figures like Hercules and Sagittarius help Paul learn (my favorite was the episode onboard the Argo) and the inclusion of Paul’s family in his journey injects a vein of elemental pagan dignity that will help children understand why ancient peoples told stories about the constellations. A solid book that uses mythology as its basis, The Freight Train in the Sky was very enjoyable.
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This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.