by Rosemary Wells
This children's novel was a fun and exciting read. It tells the story of 11-year-old Oscar, a young boy living through the Depression. As a result of the hard economic times, Oscar's father is forced sell off their beloved train set and go to California to find work, leaving Oscar to live with a dour aunt. When Oscar meets a kindly stranger named Mr. Applegate, they wind up in a bank during a violent robbery, and Oscar escapes harm by boarding the bank's model train through magic he didn't know existed. The train takes him to California and his father. The only catch is that they have both aged ten years: Oscar is now an 11-year-old boy in a 21-year-old body! His dad and others must help him get back to his time before he is drafted into the army at the height of WWII.
This book is squeaky clean. The robbers in the story try to use a couple swear words, but the author out-wits them by putting only the first letter of the word and dashing out the rest (dash, as in ----).
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