True Heart by Marissa Moss

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Since age sixteen, Bee has loaded freight for the Union Pacific Railroad, all the while dreaming of being an engineer. Bee loves the railroad: from the roar and clatter of the wheels against the track to the names like True Heart, Roaring Wolf, and Coyote Special to the low blast of the whistle—whoooo-whoooo. Then one day, Bee gets the chance to drive the True Heart all the way from Cheyenne to Chicago. A seamless mix of history and fiction, True Heart is a story of the American frontier, of wanting something so much you can’t think of anything else--and of the little-known work of pioneer women who made the American railroad a reality.

About Marissa Moss

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Marissa Moss began as an illustrator of children's books.She is the author and illustrator of the Amelia series. She has written and illustrated more than 20 childrenżs books including Ameliażs Notebook, which was named a 1997 American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists book. Her other books include Reginażs Big Mistake and Knick Knack Paddywack. My Notebook (with Help from Amelia) also won the 2000 Parent Council Outstanding Award Informational and Oh Boy, Amelia! won the 2001 Parentżs Guide to Childrenżs Media Award and the 2002 Childrenżs Choice Award. C. F. Payne has illustrated more than a dozen picture books, including the Texas Bluebonnet winner "Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy" and" Turkey Bowl", both written by Phil Bildner. He also illustrated the "New York Times" bestsellers "The Remarkable Farkle McBride" and "Micawber", both by John Lithgow. He teaches at the Columbus College of Design, where he is the chair of the Illustration Department. C.F Payne lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with his wife and children. Visit him at
Published March 1, 1999 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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When Bee gets the chance to drive a train, she takes two of her female crew to stoke the engines, “blowing my whistle for all the sky to hear.” The language is homespun and direct, with Bee’s desire and love for the railroad clear.

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Publishers Weekly

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An intimate first-person narrative carries this story of Gee, who, as a child, dreamed of becoming a pilot, and went on to become one of just two Chinese-Americans in the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

Aug 10 2009 | Read Full Review of True Heart

Publishers Weekly

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Moss evokes the love of trains that keeps Bee in the engineer's cab every spare moment, watching and asking questions, and her joy at driving for the first time, when an injured engineer and a trainful of impatient passengers pressure the station manager to give her a chance.

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