The Young Railroaders

IDB ProductionsPrice: Free

The Young Railroaders by Francis Lovell Coombs comes with the subtitle Tales of Adventure and Ingenuity, which sets expectations the story certainly meets – and even exceeds.

The story features the adventures of three young boys. Trained in using the telegraph machine, the three youngsters employ their knowledge of then-advanced telecommunication technology as well as their resourcefulness and their knowledge of how the railroad system works to catch villains and to solve some mysteries, too.

Mainly known for his biography of U. S. Grant, Francis Lovell Coombs has earned a name in the literary world as a historian. In The Young Railroaders he acts as a true historian as well, depicting the era of railroad developments so vividly that the readers feel completely absorbed by this harsh and exciting world, but he also shows his talent as a story-teller.

The novel is certainly witty, the events come in a quick, yet well-organized succession and the book combines funny adventures with more serious happenings that teach the young boys important lessons about life and honor. Sometimes the three boys need courage to solve the problem they are faced with, sometimes it is quick thinking and creativity that they need to analyze the situation in a fraction of a second and to be able to find the best solution and the best way to proceed.

The characters are well-shaped and complex, too – the protagonists just as much as the secondary characters that the reader is offered only a glimpse of. The three young boys become heroes gradually, in a manner unnoticeable even to them. They thwart crime and perform spectacular rescues, their adventures being described in an amusing and lively style, making The Young Railroaders an excellent reading experience for young readers just as much as for adults.

Price: Free

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