Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World

By: David Macaulay

Prior to the 1800s, ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean relied on the wind in their sails to make their journeys. But the invention of steam power ushered in a new era of transportation that would change ocean travel forever: the steamship. This book artfully explores the design and construction of the most advanced—and last—of these steamships, the SS United States, and the life of its designer and engineer, William Francis Gibbs.

Gatefolds. Afterword with photographs. Time line. Selected reading. Full-color illustrations.

ISBN: 9781596434776

JLG Release: Jul 2019


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: William Francis Gibbs (1886–1967) , History of SS United States (steamship) , History of US ocean liners , History of shipbuilding , Steam engines

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, Booklist*, School Library Journal*, Kirkus Reviews, The Horn Book Magazine*, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

An in-depth informational text surveying the history of steamships, focusing on the SS United States. Master author/illustrator Macaulay combines expository and narrative nonfiction, explaining how William Francis Gibbs and his brother engineered the building of the SS United States and how his family eventually immigrated to America journeying on An in-depth informational text surveying the history of steamships, focusing on the SS United States. Master author/illustrator Macaulay combines expository and narrative nonfiction, explaining how William Francis Gibbs and his brother engineered the building of the SS United States and how his family eventually immigrated to America journeying on that very ship. The author’s personal connection provides a solid foundation for the information. Macaulay’s beautifully detailed illustrations illuminate the blended text, and are so engaging that they will draw in readers otherwise reluctant about the content of the book itself. An afterword and timeline provide backmatter that will further round out the readers’ experience. This book is a necessary addition to any collection serving middle grade readers and is perfect for collections in need of STEAM texts; a must-buy for any and all collections.

Horn Book

Macaulay chronicles his own mid-twentieth-century immigration story in full color and a wide trim size—along with plenty of diagrams and technical descrip-tions of the ship that brought his family from England to America. Macaulay tells readers that his journey “had been under way for much longer than I had realized”—and then proves his ass Macaulay chronicles his own mid-twentieth-century immigration story in full color and a wide trim size—along with plenty of diagrams and technical descrip-tions of the ship that brought his family from England to America. Macaulay tells readers that his journey “had been under way for much longer than I had realized”—and then proves his assertion through thoughtfully scaffolded and scrupulously researched chapters. The development of the steam engine, begin-ning in the eighteenth century, launches the primary narrative arc of the book. Nearly two hundred years of engineering innovation follows before readers are introduced to the life and work of ship designer William Francis Gibbs, the person responsible for the innovative and record-breaking superliner SS United States that would eventually transport a young Macaulay in 1957. An effective combination of expository text and technical illustrations conveys the construc-tion and functionality of the United States—most impressively displayed through a massive double-gatefold. Macaulay concludes the book with his own recol-lections of crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the great ship, providing charmingly childlike memories (“I stared pathetically at the windows of the bridge, hoping for an invitation to go up and try the wheel”). Beyond the impressive scholarship and impeccable draftsmanship, Macaulay rounds out the reading experience with moments of humor (both written and visual), pleasingly atmospheric spreads, and a humanistic view of applied science. Back matter (absent of an index) includes an afterword, a timeline, acknowledgments, selected reading, and photographs.

Book Details

ISBN

9781596434776

First Release

July 2019

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

623.82

Trim Size

10 1/2" x 9 1/2"

Page Count

128

Accelerated Reader

Level 7.7; Points: 2;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 12.4; Points: 5;

Lexile

Level 1200L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Roaring Brook

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

William Francis Gibbs (1886–1967), History of SS United States (steamship), History of US ocean liners, History of shipbuilding, Steam engines,

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