I dream of trains, by Angela JohnsonFrom Bogey Bear
Picture books that are based on true stories are fun!  This book is about railroad engineer,Casey Jones.  The pictures are great, but I like the way the story is told - through the eyes an African American child.  This make-believe boy seems like a real boy as he daydreams about trains, just like may boys do.

About the Book
The poignant words of two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Angela Johnson and striking images from fine artist Loren Long join forces in this heartbreaking yet uplifting picture book about a boy, his love for trains, and his adulation of one legendary engineer.

It's the story of a hero lost and a hero discovered, of a dream crushed then reawakened, but mostly it is a story of the force that sustains the human spirit -- hope.

From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-This powerfully illustrated picture book looks at legendary engineer Casey Jones through the eyes of a fictional black child who toils in a cotton field near the railroad tracks. In low, reverential tones, the text speaks both of the folk hero's mystique and the narrator's eagerness to experience Casey's big world. The man's status as a pioneering symbol of harmonious race relations appears within the story and in an eloquent epilogue suitable for older readers. Johnson's treatment of Casey's tragic, heroic death is particularly respectful and moving. Long's moody acrylic paintings, mainly in subdued tones, are a sterling accompaniment to the book's provocative prose.

Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist
PreS-Gr. 2. To escape his backbreaking work in the Mississippi cotton fields, a young, nineteenth-century African American boy dreams of trains. His hero is Casey Jones, who, with his black engineer Sims Web, sounds a "soul-speaking whistle" as he drives his engines past the boy's fields, "dreaming me away." When Jones is killed in a wreck, loving Papa fills the boy with confidence that he'll still be able to explore the "big, wide world," even without Casey. Children may struggle with the sense of some of Johnson's spare poetic lines: "We are where we were and who we are," for example. But even if they can't grasp the full meaning, they will easily connect with the boy's deep yearning to escape and the quiet, atmospheric beauty of the language. Long's powerful acrylic paintings give an immediate sense of the boy's world: the sorrow of the workers in the hot fields; the thrill of the mighty, streaking trains; and the joy of imagined adventures. An interesting author's note adds more history about Casey Jones and the Great Migration. Gillian Engberg

Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author
Angela Johnson has won three Coretta Scott King Awards, one each for her novels The First Part Last, Heaven, and Toning the Sweep. The First Part Last was also the recipient of the Michael L Printz Award. She has written numerous books for younger readers, including the Coretta Scott King Honor Book When I Am Old with You, illustrated by David Soman; Wind Flyers and I Dream of Trains, both illustrated by Loren Long; A Sweet Smell of Roses; Lottie Paris Lives Here; and the upcoming All Different Now (2013). In recognition of her outstanding talent, Angela was named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Kent, Ohio.

About the Illustrator
#1 New York Times Best Seller loren Long's illustrations have received two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators and his first picture book, Angela Johnson’s I Dream of Trains, won the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award for Illustrations and his inspired interpretation of Walt Whitman’s When I Heard Learn’d Astronomer was a Golden Kite Honor. A much sought after editorial artist whose work has appeared in Times, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and Atlantic Monthly, Loren is widely known for the illustrations in Madonna’s #1 New York Times Best Seller Mr. Peabody’s Apples. And Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could. He lives in West Chester, Ohio, with his wife, Tracy, and two young sons, Griffith and Graham.