Book Title: WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS
Publication Date: June 11, 2009
Publisher: Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group
Edited By: Patricia Lee Gauch
AUTHOR'S WEBSITE: FranCannonSlayton's Website
AUTHOR'S BLOG: Fran Cannon Slayton's Blog
DESCRIPTION OF BOOK:
When the railroad’s in your blood, it draws you like a pump draws water from the ground.
Meet a town and a train and a time and a boy – Jimmy Cannon. And meet his father – as strong as a Mallet locomotive – whom Jimmy simply cannot figure out! But who, in a dramatic and breathtaking twist, turns out to be so much more than Jimmy ever knew.
In a book that goes to the core of boyhood – its Halloween mischief, it’s hunting day mystery, its championship football game surprise, and nighttime adventures – Fran Cannon Slayton brings her readers to the spellbinding crossroads of an unforgettable West Virginia railroad town and adulthood itself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Fran Cannon Slayton spent her childhood growing up in Manassas and Haymarket, Virginia. She was a mean unicycle rider and pogo stick hopper, and prided herself as an all-around terror on the kickball field. Other favorite pastimes included exploding caps (with or without the use of a magnifying glass), catching salamanders with her bare hands, and using them as bait when she went fishing.
In high school she played first trumpet in the Bishop Ireton-Saint Mary’s Academy Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and lettered in four varsity sports (soccer, basketball, softball and field hockey – goalies rule!). In college she went to the Junior Olympics in fencing, played in the Award Winning Virginia Fighting Cavalier Indoor/Outdoor Precision? Marching Pep Band and Chowder Society Review Unlimited!!!, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia with a double distinguished major in Psychology and Religious Studies. After getting married to her college sweetheart and working on Capitol Hill for a couple of years, she went back to UVA’s Law School where she set a personal record by playing on six different softball teams in one single semester. After law school Fran became a prosecutor, specializing in child sex abuse cases, and then went on to become a legal publisher and mild-mannered title insurance agency owner. After her daughter was born, Fran became a stay-at-home mom (“the best job ever”), author, and part-time singer/trumpet player in a rock and roll cover band.
Change comes, Jimmy. It’ll thunder down the tracks towards you like an engine with the brakes gone out. And sometimes, there ain’t a dagburn thing you can do to stop it.
“When the Whistle Blows is reminiscent of classic tales by Jack London, William Golding and Robert Louis Stevenson, yet carries the remarkable, fresh voice of its author. Fran Cannon Slayton should be extremely proud of this, her debut novel.”
-- Ellen Hopkins, National Book Award finalist and bestselling author of Crank.
“With wit and warmth Fran Cannon Slayton recounts a steam-driven coming of age story in the last of the real railroad days.”
-- Richard Peck, Newbery Award winning author of A Year Down Yonder.
"From its whip-smart opening to its look at the complexity of father/son relationships Slayton's loving novel takes a long hard look at the death of people and that intangible idea of 'home'. When the Whistle Blows stopped me in my tracks."
-- Elizabeth Bird, Children’s Librarian, New York Public Library and School Library Journal Fuse #8 blogger.
JIMMY CANNON'S FAVORITE RECIPE:
Author Photo: Sonya Sones