EMWF Kids' Reads

The Train
Written by Jodie Callaghan, Illustrated by Georgia Lesley
Published by Second Story Press

A book review by Simon (12), Hudson (8), Sebastian (8) and Madeline (10)!


Welcome Simon, Hudson, Sebastian and Madeline! Can you tell us what this book is about?

Sebastian and Madeline: We think the book is about Ashley learning about residential schools from her uncle. She finds out how horrible residential schools were for Indigenous people.

Simon and Hudson: The book “The Train”, written by Jodie Callaghan, is about Ashley’s Uncle telling her about the horrible things in the school that he and his siblings experienced. It included their hair getting cut and not being able to speak about their heritage and language. The author wants to share how the Nnu were mistreated.

What do you like about this book?

Sebastian and Madeline: We loved the illustrations, especially the ones on the last three pages. We like how it ended with Ashley waiting with her Uncle.

Simon and Hudson: We like how Jodie Callaghan used very descriptive words because it helped us picture the setting more clearly. For example, Jodie writes “a car sped past her, billowing up a cloud of dirt. It stung her eyes and she stopped to wipe them.” The descriptive words make us understand that Ashley’s eyes hurt and we feel empathy for her.

What is your favourite part of the story?

Sebastian and Madeline: The end. It’s happier.

Simon and Hudson: Our favourite part of the story is when Ashley’s Uncle tells her that it makes him so happy when he sees Ashley and her sister run, laugh, and play. This part of the story lights up our day since other parts of the story are depressing. It catches our attention and makes us think one day everything will be okay.

What do you like about the illustrations?

Sebastian and Madeline: It’s a very beautiful piece. You can see every stroke.

Simon and Hudson: We like how the illustrations have a unique style and are realistic. The illustrator Georgia Lesley uses colours to help us imagine the setting. For example, Ashley’s Uncle had white hair so we know he is old. We have never seen this style of drawing before.

Why should other kids read this book?

Sebastian and Madeline: Kids should read this book because it’s important to know the history of Canada. Even if it’s sad.

Simon and Hudson: Kids should read this book to feel emotion towards the Nnu kids and what they had to go through. Kids will learn more about the history of the Nnu indigenous people and how they were mistreated in residential schools. Kids will appreciate their own lives more after reading this book.

If you could ask the author or illustrator a question, what would it be?

Sebastian and Madeline: If you made another book what would it be?

Simon and Hudson: We would ask the illustrator “What tools did you use to draw the pictures and how?” We would ask that question so we can draw that style of drawings in art class. Georgia uses such perfect colours in her drawings.

Thank you Sebastian, Madeline, Simon and Hudson!