When the Whistle Blows (Hardcover)

By Fran Slayton

Philomel, 9780399251894, 160pp.

Publication Date: June 11, 2009

Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (8/18/2015)
Pre-Recorded Audio Player (1/20/2010)
MP3 CD (1/1/2010)
MP3 CD (1/1/2010)
Compact Disc (1/1/2010)
Compact Disc (1/1/2010)

List Price: 16.99*
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Autumn 2009 Kids' Indie Next List

“Fran Slayton's When the Whistle Blows tells the story of a railroading family in 1940s West Virginia, when steam engines were king. But the wheels of progress bring the diesel engine and, with it, the end of a way of life. This is an engaging and moving portrayal of changing times in a small mountain town.”
— Carol Moyer, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC
View the List


Jimmy lives in Rowlesburg, West Virginia, during the 1940s. He does all the things boys do in the small mountain town: plays a mean game of football, pulls the unforgettable Halloween prank with his friends in ?the Platoon, ? and promises to head off into the woods on the first day of hunting season? no matter what. He also knows his father belongs to a secret society, and is determined to uncover the mysteries behind it But it is a midnight encounter with a train that shows Jimmy the man his father really is.

Newcomer Fran Cannon Slayton's powerful first novel captures the serendipity of boyhood by shining a spotlight on the peak adventures of Jimmy's life. But at its heart, this is a story about a boy and his father in a time when trains reigned supreme.

"?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, author of "Crank" and "Identical."

About the Author

Fran Cannon Slayton lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.