From Publishers Weekly An attractive expanded and color-enhanced version of the Depression era story that was nominated for an Eisner award as Best Single Issue/One Shot in 2002. Afraid that he's just a burden on his family, 13-year-old Tucker Freeman lets himself be driven away from home and jumps on a freight train heading west. His inexperience makes him vulnerable to all the angry, desperate people looking for any way they can survive during America's economic collapse, but fortunately he's taken under the wing of Elijah Hopkins, an elderly colored man who introduces him to the cooperative hobo subculture. In the company of other social castoffs, Tucker discovers that he does have choices of how to live and where to go. Vollmer's script, based on family reminiscences, rings true; his dialogue has the vocabulary and the rhythms of real people talking, and the characters behave in the sometimes mean but sometimes generous way that real people do. Without glamorizing the characters or their surroundings, Callejo's art creates a solid setting in which Tucker's experience can reveal squalor or grace. Like Huckleberry Finn, this story doesn't pretend to solve the whole society's problems, but it does show a small, convincing human victory. (Mar.) Copyright ? Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Read more From School Library Journal Grade 5 Up?Originally published in 2002, The Castaways makes its debut in a beautiful hardcover edition with a new epilogue. Set during the Great Depression, it tells the story of Tucker Freeman, 13, who is forced to follow in his father's footsteps and brave the life of a hobo. His first attempt at jumping a train is successful but terrifying, and when he arrives at the train yard, he puts his faith in Elijah Hopkins, an African-American professional 'bo who serves as Tucker's mentor. Through him, Tucker finds the strength to carve his own path in life. Vollmar and Callejo vividly create a world of travelers searching for work, parents who can't afford to feed their children, and prejudice that is only overlooked by kindred spirits of the road. The struggles of so many families become relevant when seen through Tucker's eyes, and the story of his own growth is poignant. The art, done in black, white, and blue, places the story solidly in its period and setting while truthfully portraying a wide range of human emotions. Fans of historical fiction, or classic novels by writers like Mark Twain and John Steinbeck, will find much to love in The Castaways, and graphic-novel buffs who like a little more depth in their comics will be extremely pleased.?Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT Copyright ? Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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