Reader’s Favorite Book Review 5-Star Rating Definition
5 Stars — Great! You would definitely buy this book. You would definitely recommend it to your friends. You really loved the characters and the plot and would consider looking for this authors back list or making her an autobuy. The writing and editing were superb.
-2018 Reader’s Favorite Five-Star Book Review-
The Railway Children Chronicles eBook #31
Reader’s Favorite 5 star Book Review: August 29, 2018 by K.C. Finn. “The Railway Children Chronicles is a work of western frontier historical fiction by author Raymond Cook. Though the title conjures up illusions of another classic novel, the railway children of this novel grow up in a time of extreme poverty, violence, and starvation in Silver Plume, Colorado, 1880. Their story is one of gritty hardship and difficulty, in a merciless period of history, where even the smallest kindness can be the difference between life and death. In a western frontier town driven mad by the discovery and mining of silver, crime is rife and people are not what they seem. The orphans of the freight yard form the center of a story about a town transformed by sudden wealth.
Raymond Cook writes with true authenticity about Colorado in the late 1800s, and it’s clear this is a topic which is close to his heart. Something I enjoyed immensely about this novel was the level of detail going into the poverty- stricken way of life of most of the people, and the contrast between those who had success and those who didn’t. The children themselves were simplistic but authentic to their time, and the story of their struggle came across as far more valuable than any individual character. Some of the things which happened to them were quite upsetting, but necessary in the overall plot. I would recommend The Railway Children Chronicles as a well-written historical work for readers looking to immerse themselves in a vividly fictionalized slice of American history.”
December 11, 2018 4.5 Star Seattle Book Review of The Railway Children by Jennifer Melville.
“I expected this book to be a spin-off of Edith Nesbit’s classic children’s book, The Railway Children. Instead, my children and I were in for an unexpected and wonderful literary treat. The Railway Children Chronicles tells the story of orphan children in the western mining town of Silver Plume, Colorado. Cook masterfully transports readers back in time and poignantly portrays the real-life struggles orphans faced in the 1880s. Gritty and merciless, the story follows the Railway Children as they struggle to survive. It’s upsetting and shocking at times, but authentic to the time period and real-life struggles orphans faced in the American West. There’s no sugar-coating. It’s a tale of survival.
The children face hardships and challenges few modern readers will ever have to endure, and that’s partly what makes it so powerful. Action-packed, exciting, and heart-breaking at the same time, Cook’s novel is a conversation starter about this forgotten aspect of American history. Who will step up and save the orphans?
This is a book to read with your children. It may be upsetting to them at times, but it’s a powerful look at history and something that will lead to unforgettable conversations.
The Railway Children Chronicles
Midwest Book Review.
“Raymond Cook fills this story with images from the old West, building a fictional saga that’s spiced by research on the atmosphere, politics, and social issues of the times. He then tailors the events and children’s’ perceptions of their world for a young audience of elementary-level readers (likely grades 4-6) who will find the wealth of vintage photos of children and settings of the era compliment the story of struggling small children. The result is a realistic, refreshingly absorbing tale recommended for young readers that brings to life the plight of early frontier orphans and the processes whereby they are rescued.”
Seattle Book Review Five-Star Book Review
An Orphan With A Destiny eBook #29
By James Brewer: If you are ever in need of a book that makes you feel grateful for all that you have, An orphan With A Destiny is it. The book showcases Western life in Colorado in the early 1900s, following a little girl’s life. Her name is Katelyn Grant, but she doesn’t know herself as that name. Nor does she know her past or even her parents. Shock is hell of a drug, specially when you see your parents and those around you brutally murdered by Indians. The book is about hardship and overcoming one’s difficulties. It brings light to true situations that orphans and runaways had to face in the early 1900s. The story that follows reveals how much little Katelyn had suffered and how fate changed her. It shows that things can change through determination and hard work, that the world and everything around you might be going to crap, but you can survive. It makes you very much grateful for how much society has changed in the last hundred years or so alone. An Orphan With A Destiny is a life-changing novel that will make one grateful for all they have.
Raymond Cook was featured on the front page of the Lodi News Sentinel newspaper on May 26, 2018.