Write a Review Wednesday: All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine

Say it Rah-shay By Jan 12, 2011 3 Comments

With Black History Month right around the corner, Monica Kulling’s book, All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine is a charming introduction to inventor Elijah McCoy. Born the son of slaves, Elijah had a love of machines from an early age. His parents saved their money so that he could be educated in Scotland. Upon his return, he dreamed of a job as an engineer only to be turned down because he was Black. While working at the only job he could get, as a coal shoveler, he eventually came up with a safer and more efficient way to help engines run.

Picture taken from
Tundra Books website

General Considerations:
The book begins with a haunting poem that both describes a history of Elijah’s parents, slaves who escaped to Canada from the Underground Railroad. The story is hopeful; despite being rejected because of his color, Elijah perseveres and comes up with an idea that makes trains run more efficiently. Although the text is simple and intended for younger readers, seasoned readers will enjoy and appreciate this story and clamor for more. The illustrations by Bill Slavin are beautiful and complement the story. The illustrations enrich the text and show a positive image of a Black man (something I feel is often missing in children’s literature).
The book also includes a history on the phrase ‘The Real McCoy’ and the impressive amount of inventions created by Elijah. Parents and children will love this story and will be pleased with a new hero.

This book was a gift from Tundra Books during 2010’s Blogfest. If you’d like a copy of your own, visit your local library or check out Tundra Book’s website.

*Black history month is coming up as I said and I have a few ideas that I will be trying out! Stay tuned!


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    What an inspiring book. Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like one for the must-read list. 😉

  2. Thanks for linking up on The Book Frog. I can’t wait to see your ides for Black History Month!

    Becky (The Book Frog)

  3. Carolyn Jung says:

    What an inspiring book. Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like one for the must-read list. 😉

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