Published by Schwartz and Wade
Summary: New York City in the 1860’s had a horrendous traffic problem. Alfred Ely Beach thought he had a solution: build an underground tunnel and send a train through the tunnel to transport people in a way that would keep them off the street. Unable to get approval for his project, he pretended he was constructing a pneumatic mail tube under the city. In reality, he was creating a tunnel big enough for a train. In just two months, he built the first subway, unveiling his invention to the public on February 26, 1870. People loved his train at first, but eventually the novelty wore off, and it would be decades before the rest of New York City caught up with Beach and built the present-day subway. 40 pages; ages 4-9.
Pros: The story is well-told, and will appeal to fans of trains and other inventions. The real marvel of this book are the multimedia pictures which are a cross between Claymation and Hanna Barbera animation. The illustrations will sell this book to many readers.
Cons: I thought Beach had created the subway used in New York today, so it was a bit of an anticlimax to learn his invention never really took off.