Atheneum Books, Hardcover, 9781416940814, 40pp.
Publication Date: May 20, 2008
In Steel Town,
it's always dark.
In Steel Town,
it's always raining...
In Steel Town, the mills blaze all day and all night, making steel and even more steel to be shipped over the Magic Mountains, down the Pitch-Black River, and far, far away. The men
who work in the mills work as hard as the machines that make the steel, never stopping. But when the men go home at night, a different side of Steel Town emerges -- one filled with music and neighbors, pierogies and spaghetti, churches and front porches.
This gritty yet poetic world is brought to life through Jonah Winter's lyrical, rhythmic text and Terry Widener's luscious, nocturnal illustrations, whose massive figures glow with the few lights that shine through this darkness. This is a portrait of an imaginary town derived from the very real American steel towns of the 1930s, when the sky was often black as night all day and the cavernous mills belched out fire and smoke. Here is a journey to a town that time has not forgotten, just misplaced: Steel Town.
Terry Widener is an award-winning illustrator whose picture books include "Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man" (a "Boston Globe-Horn Book" Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book) and "The Babe & I" (a recipient of the California Young Reader Medal), both by David A. Adler, and "Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings" (a Junior Library Guild Selection) by Deborah Hopkinson. Mr. Widener lives with his family in McKinney, Texas.