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Shortcut Paperback – Illustrated, September 20, 1996
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"Beautifully crafted from cover to cover." -- Booklist (starred review)
From the Back Cover
The train tracks ran right by Bigmama's house in Cottondale, and the children were warned to stay off the tracks. But one night they were late, and the tracks were a shortcut, so they started off. And when there was no turning back, they heard the train coming.
- Publisher : Greenwillow Books; Illustrated edition (September 20, 1996)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0688135765
- ISBN-13 : 978-0688135768
- Reading age : 4 - 8 years
- Lexile measure : AD450L
- Grade level : Preschool - 3
- Item Weight : 4.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 10 x 0.19 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #49,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Some people criticize it for teaching a bed lesson (glorifying doing something dangerous and keeping secrets from adults), but what it does is perfectly capture a child's perspective of doing something wrong (and dangerous) and learning a lesson independent of adult input.
In case you are wondering (spoiler alert), the kids take a short cut on train tracks and almost get hit by a train.
Crews is at his best in this one with succinct sentences that are wonderful to read out loud, lots of action, and beautiful illustrations.
Donald Crews' relating of an actual childhood experience is powerful -- they decided to take the shortcut home -- over the train tracks. What happens when they realize a train is coming?