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Steam Ships… there is something about steam ships that incites the imagination (at least for me!). Did you know the first working steam engine was made to help coal miners? Building from those early models, David Macauley draws us into the world of steam ships until we reach the final steam ship, the SS United States in Crossing on Time. A steam ship the author himself travelled on.
This is actually a hard review and intro to write. I so like this book I want to draw you into it and I’m afraid my words will fail me. What will you find? Drawing, illustrations, pictures, well written text and more. Come on, let me show you why you should get this book! 🙂
What I am Reviewing
Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast ships, and a journey to the new world.
Roaring Brook Press
128 pages, Ages 10-14 years
Received: Advanced Readers Copy
Formatted as Hardcover or Kindle.
Reviewed for Raincoast books.
Steam Ships, Engines, Ships, History, Boats, Inventors,
Prior to the 1800s, ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean relied on the wind in their sails to make their journeys. But invention of steam power ushered in a new era of transportation that would change ocean travel forever: the steamship.
Award-winning author-illustrator David Macaulay guides readers through the fascinating history that culminated in the building of the most advanced – and last – of these steamships: the SS United States . This book artfully explores the design and construction of the ship and the life of its designer and engineer, William Francis Gibbs.
Framed around the author’s own experience steaming across the Atlantic on the very same SS United States, Crossing on Time is a tour de force of the art of explanation and a touching and surprising childhood story.
Details for Crossing on Time
Full colour illustrations dot every page of this book. From drawing illustrating how the engines where put together.
As well as illustrations of vessels. It was important to get ships that could run under their own power. Depending on the wind, or man-power was a barrier to moving people via the waterways. People wanted reliability in their travel, so developing better ships to transport people was an imperative. It was a difficult task, fraught with disappointment, but also with elation. Success was a great thing. The SS United States was the fulfillment of a dream for William Francis Gibbs.
The text throughout was easy to read and lead well from one page to the next. Crossing on Time is not divided into chapters, but reads just like a fiction book from page to page.
There is so much information contained within the pages, but it never felt like a hard read. Just really interesting watching the development of steam ships throughout the years. All the images/illustrations provided broke up the text and really aided understanding.
All these illustrations made me wonder if I could somehow build my own steam engine. It made me thoroughly appreciate the early inventors. Learning how to put all these intricate pieces together.
One of my delights was this fold-out page of the SS United States. Wasn’t it just immense? Remember… this was run on steam. That just amazes me.
I asked my son to look through Crossing on Time. His response after just a short time was “I like how they have so many diagrams. It’s an interesting book. You are keeping this one right?”
And inside I said “YAY!” Because you know what… I really like this book. It’s chock full of details about steam engines. The diagrams are well done and you could really see the progress in the steam ships.
Crossing on Time is a wonderful look back in time. A must read for anyone who loves ships, is interested in innovation, and/or likes to trace the development of invention. A delightfully informative book. Well worth reading.