Across America on an Emigrant Train

by Jim Murphy

Hardcover, 1993



Local notes

921 STE





HMH (1993), 168 pages


Combines an account of Robert Louis Stevenson's experiences as he traveled from New York to California by train in 1879 and a description of the building and operation of railroads in nineteenth-century America.


Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Informational Books — 1995)
Cardinal Cup (Winner — 1994)
Orbis Pictus Award (Winner — 1994)


Original language


Physical description

168 p.; 7.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Stbalbach
This is an easy and fun history book (young adult) that blends excerpts from Robert Louis Stevenson's "Amateur Emigrant" and "Across the Plains" (travel literature classics) with Jim Murphy's prose and descriptions. I was expecting a kids book but far from it - while not academic or even
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pretentiously so, it's on par with a PBS episode of "American Experience" and reminds me of how fun history can be. The historical photo's are excellent, numerous and tightly connected to the text. Highly recommended for anyone interested in RLS, American history and the immigrant experience of the late 19th century. Jim Murphy has written about a dozen books like this including some Newbury award winners, hope to read some more, the language and prose is easy and leaves a strong impression of time and place, very enjoyable.
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LibraryThing member hammockqueen
actually an informative book with lots of pictures of the nations trains and the emigrant story line. simplistic for an adult but fit my needs
LibraryThing member teason
This book tells the story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his twelve day journey from New York to California in 1879. Along with his story, you learn about the history of the building of the transcontinental railroad and the settling of the West. Children will learn about history as his book talks
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about the destruction of Native American life, the development of the Pullman car, and the towns that quickly came and vanished as the construction crews moved on. Murphy also includes a lot of pictures in the text that help keep children interested.
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LibraryThing member jmcneal
This book was a little depressing for me. While looking at the pictures and reading the story all I could think about was poverty and despair. The book was informational and I did learn a bit from it, but it would be like me learning about a war from someone who just got out of the battlefield and
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hadn't washed up yet.
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½ (20 ratings; 3.8)
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