The Midnight Ride of Blackwell Station | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/midnight-ride-blackwell-station[12/8/2015 11:42:09 AM] Home The Midnight Ride of Blackwell StationThe Midnight Ride of Blackwell StationSubmitted by jainlayconley on 4-8-2011 12:32 PMAuthor: Mary Peace Finley Publishing: Palmer Lake, CO: Filter Press LLC, 2010. Illustrated. 92 pages. 5 x 8. $8.95 paperback. Reviewer: Ali and Hannah (Youth Reviewers) Editors note: This is a review written by sixth-grade students of a historical fiction book for young readers. The Midnight Ride of Blackwell Station is an exciting read recommended for young readers ages eight to ten. Author Mary Peace Finley laughed out loud when she heard about the founding of Lamar, Colorado. Just imagine, a railroad station being moved on a train! She wondered if she could turn it into a story for young readers. She thought that kids would rather read a historical fiction book on the event than a nonfiction book. Finley believes that fiction writing can make history more exciting to read. The characters in the book are based on real people. Raephy McDowell is a young girl who spends most of her time helping out at her familys railroad station. Typing in O.S. on the telegraph for On Schedule and sweeping up their entire home isnt exactly a wonderful life for a nine-yearold girl. She fantasizes about friends and a whole city of her own. One day, Raephy sits under the window of their station and overhears the plan for building a town right where she lives! But theres only one problemAmos Black. Amos owns the other half of Blackwell station and refuses to turn the land into a town and give up the railroad station. Sending Amos away to Texas as a distraction might just be the answer. While he is away, the McDowell sisters discover the furniture in their home is bolted to the floor and their house will be loaded on a train and moved to a new location! Imagine your house riding on the back of a railcar, thats how Raephy was thinking. By the time they reach the new destinationsoon to be called Lamarit was morning. Soon the entire McDowell family explores the new site, but their happiness is short-lived when Amos Black returns from Texas an angry man. He demands to know who stole his station and pulls out a gun. Raephy decides standing up to him might be the only thing to do. Amos Black points his gun at her, but Raephys father stands between them. Soon Black walks back to his shack with his last words of threat: Ill get my station back, and Ill get back at you, too. All of you! He was never seen again. Later the McDowell family rejoices along with the rest of their new town of Lamar, Colorado! We thought The Midnight Ride of Blackwell Station was an exciting read, and it had a great plot. It had a clear beginning, middle, and end, with a surprising secret finale. It also has pictures drawn by Judith Hunt that help the reader visualize the characters and scenes. Mary Peace Finley grew up in the town of Fowler, Colorado, only eighty miles away from where this historical event took place. We thought that it really showed that she knew what she was writing about. She has always been interested in the history of Colorado. She has written other books, including White Grizzly for young adults and Little Foxs Secret for EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanIn 1893, Colorado became the first state in the union to allow women the right to vote through popular election.
The Midnight Ride of Blackwell Station | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/midnight-ride-blackwell-station[12/8/2015 11:42:09 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us ages eight to ten. Reviewer Info: Ali and Hannah live in Colorado and are sixth graders at a Jefferson County Public School. They are members of the Dozen Bananasa club for students who have exceptional writing abilities. Ali loves to engage in imaginative play with her brother and pets. Hannah excels in reading and math. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Add new commentComments Good to know. Permalink Submitted by jainlayconley on 4-11-2011 12:33 PMI am glad to hear you recommend this book. I think it is hard to get young readers interested in history. I am especially excited to read that this story takes place on the plains. I find most resources for students are on mining and mountain-life. While such books are helpful, we seem to forget there is more to the state's history than gold! reply There's more to our state's history than gold! Permalink Submitted by Anonymous on 4-12-2011 12:00 PMI couldn't agree more! Thanks, Ali, Hannah, and Jacqui Ainlay-Conley. Others of my "plains" books are listed on my Website MaryPeaceFinley.com ---Mary Peace Finley, author of The Midnight Ride of Blackwell Station reply