Saturday, April 8, 2017

When Jackie Saved Grand Central by Natasha Wing - OPTIONAL

Wing, Natasha   When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon  Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. Unpaged. Houston Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. $17.99. NONFICTION PICTURE BOOK.

When Jackie moved into the White House, she found it as shabby as an old hotel. She hunted down past presidential treasures and transformed the mansion into an important symbol that all America could be proud of. When her time in Washington ended, she returned to New York and eventually turned her attention to another important landmark- Grand Central Station. The owners wanted to demolish it to build a skyscraper,. Even with a newly enacted New York City Landmarks Law, the courts sided with the owners. That's when Jackie became involved. She held events, wrote letters, and raised money. When the owners took the case to the Supreme Court, Jackie organized a special train trip called the Landmark Express to attract additional attention to the case. 

This picture book is a good introduction to this famous gateway to the "city that never sleeps," as well as Jackie's role in raising awareness of this historical building. An endnote from the author provides additional information about Jackie's role in preserving other historical landmarks and how her involvement raised awareness about these issues around the country, changing how people view old buildings. There may be a small audience for this book out west, where students don't have much of a connection to this New York landmark. Additionally, the subject matter of national landmarks seems a bit old for most elementary school students, but if you have students who would be interested in either of these subjects, then show them this book. It is a solid offering.

EL(4-6), MS - OPTIONAL. Reviewed by P.K.Foster, teacher- librarian

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