Cover image for Casey Jones
Casey Jones
Drummond, Allan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Frances Foster Books, 2000.

Physical Description:
29 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 22 x 28 cm
Illustrations and rhythmic text tell how the famous engineer, Casey Jones, risks his own life to save others.
Reading Level:
AD 750 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.1 0.5 48270.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.9 2 Quiz: 24730 Guided reading level: K.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Listen to the story of the railroad's greatest hero! Now all of this happened a hundred years ago but it's a story that everyone ought to know 'cause the railroad back then was the mightiest thing and the loco engineer was the Iron Horse King! With action-packed, intricately detailed pictures and text that whistles off the page, here is the tale of the locomotive engineer John Luther "Casey" Jones, who died at his post with one hand on the whistle and the other on the air-brake lever -- a hero to the end. Drummond paints a lively picture of railroading in its heyday as he tells the story of an American legend.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. This retelling of the story of railroad engineer "Casey" Jones focuses more on the development of railroads than on Jones himself. Soft watercolor illustrations capture the feeling of movement and adventure that railroad travel inspired in the 1800s. The scenes of the nighttime journey and the fiery wreck of the train are both beautiful and disturbing. The rhyming text moves between the story of the railroad and the story of Casey and his fateful trip. Its length may bore younger listeners; older ones, however, will want to stick around for the dramatic ride and will be interested in the author's note about origins of the story and how it achieved the status of a legend. --Marta Segal

Publisher's Weekly Review

Heroic train engineer Casey Jones gets star treatment in this spirited picture book. "Listen!/ DWant to hear the story of Casey Jones?" begins Drummond (who adapted Melville's Moby Dick into a picture book). Related by two of Jones's African-American co-workers, engine wiper Wallace Saunders and fireman Sim Webb, the verses whisk readers back in time to when the railroad "was the mightiest thing,/ and the loco engineer/ was the Iron Horse King." They set the stage for the fateful night when Casey couldn't avert a train wreck but stayed faithfully at his post and gave his own life to save his passengers. "He slammed on the air brakes,/ and pulled reverse gear,/ then he hung on to the whistle pull/ till all you could hear.../ ...was the screaming of the hooter.../ the wail of the brakes.../ and a terrible explosion/ that made everything shake." Drummond's vigorous quatrains start slowly, then pick up steam as they chug steadily forward, fueling a first-rate read-aloud. His pen-and-ink images washed with invigorating swathes of color echo the rhythms of the narrative: spot art fills in details not covered by the text (e.g., Wallace and Sim's roles; historical developments brought on by rail travel) while full-bleed spreads portray everything from sprightly vistas to the dark, dramatic chaos of the wreck itself. Hop aboard for an encomium to the railroad and one of its greatest heroes. Ages 5-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-This story of Casey Jones and his heroic action in giving his own life to prevent a larger tragedy is told from the perspective of his coworkers, engine-wiper Wallace Saunders and fireman Sim Webb. The text reads like a ballad and the men are pictured near the end of the tale with musical instruments in their hands. Additionally, the narrative and art touch on the importance of railroads in the history of the United States. The illustrations, done in pen and ink with watercolor washes, provide details not given in the text and keep the story flowing. Interspersed throughout is the sound of the train whistle-"Wooo-oooh!" This is a terrific read-aloud, and children will enjoy chiming in on the familiar refrain. An author's note relates factual information about Casey Jones.-Sheilah Kosco, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.