Categories: Fiction, MIddle Grade, Teen/Young Adult
Book reviewed by Teri Takle
The year 2026 is almost upon us. What does that mean? That will be the 250th birthday of our country.
What could prepare you for this event?
A unique book about the 200th birthday with a multitude of historical events which strongly shaped our country and culture would be perfect.
It is 1976 in Chicago. Eleven-year-old Abigail Stromberg has a challenging Bicentennial Assignment for school. The project focuses on how her ancestors contributed to the country between 1776 and 1976. For Abigail, her father’s Swedish ancestry is clear and straightforward. Abigail has straight dark hair and does not resemble her father. Why won’t her mother talk about her past? However, her mother is evasive about her background. What secrets is she withholding?
How can Abigail complete the assignment with only one side of her family? Purchase Here.
Abigail and Sego’s Magical Train Ride is a time warp story roller-coasting throughout the Transcontinental Railroad to the present time of 1976 while intermixing lifestyles, events, and influential people of both times. Adding supernatural assistance helps to explain the past in their current time while fulfilling a family’s lifelong dreams.
Abigail and Sego’s Magical Train Ride is a delightful romp for those of us over the half-century mark. Numerous references to people and events of a prior time are enjoyable to remember, such as Nancy Drew books, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Polar Express Line, Ted Nugent, Moon River, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and many references to our country’s western expansion.
The reading level of this book is perfect for tweens, and I highly recommend they make a list of references they don’t understand and either research them or discuss them with an older adult.
Abigail and Sego’s Magical Train Ride is a perfect intergenerational story for a family to share. There is a multitude of historical references to both people and places that require a little background for most teenagers. As a stand-alone novel, the author could also add author notes explaining the importance of these people and places. Also helpful would be a preface explaining life in Chicago during 1976 explaining the Navy Pier, the Gold Coast, and places unique to the area, including the Chicago L train.
All in all, Abigail and Sego’s Magical Train Ride is an enjoyable romp through time.