January 26, 2009

The Great Horse-Less Carriage Race by Michael Dooling

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 4:51 pm by suebe2

carriageThe Great Horse-less Carriage Race (AR 4 . 6 )

by Michael Dooling

Holiday House

In honor of Cub Scouts and Pinewood Derby, a book about cars.

But I have to admit, I almost didn’t read it.   Another writer recommended it to a group of us as a great nonfiction picture book, biographical but focusing on a specific event vs an entire life.  I checked it out in spite of the fact that I’m not enthusiastic about cars.  I checked it out, then let it sit.  It was due back at the library, and it seemed like a good idea to let someone who liked cars read it.

For whatever reason, I cracked it open.  Could this book possibly be interesting?

Michael Dooling, please forgive me for doubting your ability as a writer!

The details that Dooling brings out keep you reading as you wonder who will win.  And they aren’t just battling the clock and each other.  Snow, break downs, freezing cold and darkness frustrated the drivers and Dooling brings them out in a gripping picture book.  He doesn’t tell us who to root for in so many words but his drawings make it clear — Frank Duryea sports an eager, often intense, look vs Oscar Mueller’s sneer.   You’ll find yourself caught up in the story as drivers struggle to repair their own vehicles in the days before Autozone, begging space at blacksmith forges and seeking out tinshops.

An excellent choice for boys who love cars, history or races.  


P.S.  The household’s young reader caught me reading this one and wondered what could keep Mom interested in a CAR book.  Moms have such strange taste, you know.  But he picked up it so that he could give you a real boy’s perspective.  Now for his review:


This is an excellent source of information.  This book teaches that you should never give up even when something takes a lot of time or effort. 

I liked that the man who won had so many troubles but fixed his car.

–Guest Reviewer (9 years-old/almost 10 years-old), Son of SueBE

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