Suitable for 9 - 14 years

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Product description

Marooned in the dusty Oklahoma prairie, Cissy and the other stout-hearted settlers toil to make the desert flower. They have staked their hearts, as well as hard years of labour, on making their much-loved town of Florence blossom and prosper. Florence has one lifeline to the outside world – the railway track. But when the townspeople invoke the wrath of a villainous and greedy railroad baron, Clifford T. Rimm, he spitefully decides to make the trains bypass Florence. Does this mean that the little town will wither and die, almost before it’s come to life? Not if Cissy and the others can help it. They’re going to stop the train – whatever it takes!

“An absolutely wonderful book – it is no wonder that McCaughrean is celebrated as one of the greatest living children’s authors.” The Bookseller

“A tense, fast-moving adventure story, sustained to the very last page, with an inspiring sense of community spirit.” Financial Times

“The work of a great writer which will move readers to tears and laughter. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.” TES

Product Details






Oxford University Press

Date published

October 4th, 2007

Accelerated Reader

AR book level: 6.4; Upper years; 11.0 points

Other details

  • 256 pages




Geraldine McCaughrean

Photo of Geraldine McCaughrean


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