Read The Secret Subway by Shana Corey Red Nose Studio Online


From an acclaimed author and a New York Times Best Illustrated artist comes the fascinating, little-known—and true!—story of New York City’s first subway.   New York City in the 1860s was a mess: crowded, disgusting, filled with garbage. You see, way back in 1860, there were no subways, just cobblestone streets. That is, until Alfred Ely Beach had the idea for a fan-powereFrom an acclaimed author and a New York Times Best Illustrated artist comes the fascinating, little-known—and true!—story of New York City’s first subway.   New York City in the 1860s was a mess: crowded, disgusting, filled with garbage. You see, way back in 1860, there were no subways, just cobblestone streets. That is, until Alfred Ely Beach had the idea for a fan-powered train that would travel underground. On February 26, 1870, after fifty-eight days of drilling and painting and plastering, Beach unveiled his masterpiece—and throngs of visitors took turns swooshing down the track.  The Secret Subway will wow readers, just as Beach’s underground train wowed riders over a century ago....

Title : The Secret Subway
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307974570
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 40 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Secret Subway Reviews

  • Tasha
    2019-11-07 12:09

    This amazing nonfiction picture book takes a look at New York in the 1860s and the lack of options for transportation on the crowded and dirty streets. Everyone knew that something needed to be done, but no one could agree on exactly what that was. Then Alfred Ely Beach had an idea to build a railroad powered by forced air. Beach knew though that he couldn’t propose to create a railroad under the streets, so instead he proposed that he’d build a tube to carry mail. Even Boss Tweed agreed with the plan. So Beach set to work creating a railroad to carry people and not mail. But it was not going to be as easy as just building the machine. He still had Boss Tweed and above ground politics to deal with!Corey writes with great energy in this picture book. While nonfiction and historical, the book is fascinating and one immediately roots for Beach as he begins to plan and then dig under New York City. The slow digging under the earth is tantalizingly told. Then the rush of opening and the speed of the train are offered with a breathless tone and fast pace. The ending is sad but also hopeful, since everyone knows that air-driven trains are not the way subways were designed. There is a feeling of remembrance at the end, of one man’s amazing dream that led to other opportunities to tunnel under New York City.It is always a joy to see work by Red Nose Studios. The book opens with a look at how the illustrations are done with figures made from wire and foam and then polymer clay for the faces. There is such attention to detail throughout with the gorgeous tube-shaped subway car appearing like magic. Done with serious flair for the dramatic and a great sense of style, this picture book’s illustrations are noteworthy and wonderful.A great pick for fans of machines and inventions, this is also a book just right for dreamers of all sorts. Appropriate for ages 6-9.

  • Barbara
    2019-12-02 05:55

    I adore nonfiction stories that unearth forgotten secrets from history, and in the talented hands of Shana Corey, this one is particularly fascinating. The book focuses on the dream of Alfred Ely Beach, a New Yorker, who, way back in the 1860s, hatched the idea of an underground train that would allow for more efficient travel beneath the city's crowded streets. Through a bit of trickery, engineering, and innovation, he pulled off the marvelous feat of building a track and train that were powered by a fan, all underground. But this being New York, his train ran into a political roadblock that kept it from ever actually becoming used on a daily basis. Back matter explains more background information about this forerunner of today's subway system and the pneumatic tube system on which Beach's train depended. The story is worth reading, providing a glimpse of early New York City, and the illustrations, which are "hand-built three-dimensional sets shot with a digital camera," are accompanied by pen-and-ink line art, are quite impressive and capture the flavor of the times and the city's citizens. Next time readers happen to ride a subway in a city or airport, they might give thanks to Beach for his imaginative solution to a problem. Were it not for this idea, just imagine how congested those places might be. Curious readers will find additional resources to learn even more in the book's back matter.

  • Kaethe
    2019-12-01 11:04

    Forgotten engineering, steampunk pneumatic tubes, political machinations: I love stories of grand efforts that get overlooked by history, and trains, so this would be a winner. But then, the art: the puppets, the sets, the costumes! And excellent back matter! Sadly my local library, like many, wraps the dust jacket in a milar/paper cover which is then taped down, so I couldn't enjoy the bonus material on the art, but I get it's really cool. I'm only sorry it isn't also a short film, because that would be awesome!Library copy

  • Lata
    2019-11-17 09:03

    Interesting bit of history of an early attempt to transport people underground at NYC. Though it didn't generate sufficient interest or funding, it was a (forgotten) prototype of sorts for the later New York City subway.Side note: the illustrations are by Red Nose Studio, which also illustrated a short story on, "The Freedom of Navid Leahy".

  • Laura Harrison
    2019-12-01 10:58

    This is an exquisite non-fiction picture book. It may end up being one of my all time favorites, in fact. Exciting, fascinating text with remarkable, detailed artwork by Red Nose Studio that you have to see to believe. So much to explore and study, The Secret Subway demands to be read over and over.

  • Martha
    2019-12-06 12:53

    Who knew the first New York subway was designed and built by Alfred Ely Beach. In the 1860s we're introduced to a filthy New York City, filled with garbage in the street. After much THINKING and planning Alfred Ely Beach came up with the idea of an underground train run by pneumatic power to move people through the city comfortably. After inventing the concept of using a large fan to power a train, digging a tunnel and designing an elegant train waiting room, his genius idea became a reality and amazed the public! Unfortunately crooked politics skewered his invention, Mob Boss Tweed shut the subway down. Told in a dramatic spare narrative text, the author clearly explains the concept and process of creating a subway in a fascinating way. The multi media illustrations of clay figures animating the story line, created by Red Nose Studio, takes this story to the next level of excellence.

  • Kristina Jean Lareau
    2019-11-18 07:41

    The story of Alfred Ely Beach's secret subway is a piece of NYC history.While this story is fascinating, it is quite wordy and did not hold my interest as I wished it would. The mixed media illustrations are incredible. My favorite spread is the second with a blue backgrounds and Victorian character silhouettes. I think that the clay figures are sculpted beautifully, that picturebook is the wrong media for this story. I feel as though it would work better as a stop motion short film.

  • Earl
    2019-11-17 05:59

    The story of New York's first subway is told with stunning claymation. We hear about the congestion in the streets and how one person proposed a clever solution that was met with a lot of obstacles that proved to be more impenetrable than rock but still paved the way into what was possible. The dustjacket folds outs to reveal the creative process to create the amazing illustrations.

  • Scott Fillner
    2019-11-23 07:51

    Really enjoyed this story and the amazing artwork as well. Some of the pages had art which combined some amazing illustrations and posed figurines. The nonfiction narrative story was great. I enjoyed the author's note at the end, which has sparked an interest in finding out more about Mr. Beach.

  • Damera Blincoe
    2019-11-27 08:41

    This is a great book if you have young children that are interested in New York subways.

  • Kimberly Karalius
    2019-12-03 05:53

    THIS BOOK IS SO EPIC! I can't even! I love discovering little quirky chunks of history and this book is all about that. Excuse me while I geek out

  • Debra
    2019-11-13 10:53

    I stumbled onto a plethora of books at varying reading levels on the building of the New York City Subway system and the small pneumatic subway that preceded it in the late 1800's, which in this book is called the Secret Subway.I was amazed at the story of this precursor to the subway system as we know it. Quite ingenious. In a time when the city was run by a tight bureaucracy and power wielding individuals, Alfred Beach quietly circumvented this all to build a pneumatic tube subway under a department store with a well appointed boarding station. The digging instrument was very interesting. And, of course, all this under the cover of night was fascinating.The book is a child's picture book with the "illustrations" being done in the form of real miniature sculptures with hand sewn clothing by the author. The inside of the jacket cover reveals the process and might whet the appetite of a creative child to have a go at creating their own real life story people. This whet my appetite so on to the next level book which I will hope will give me more information.

  • Lynn
    2019-12-05 08:42

    I first learned about this incredible bit of history through Martin Sandler's 2009 account of this event, The Secret Subway: the Fascinating tale of an Amazing Feat of Engineering. That one was written for middle school students and I think this new picture book tale is equally wonderful. What a great pairing these would be!Corey's text is very well done for a younger reader, providing just the right amount of embedded history. Her account is lively and interesting. The illustrations from Red Nose Studio take the book up to the next level though. Extraordinary hand-built sets make each page a fascinating treasure trove to linger over and I love the additions of the blue-print like imaginings into some of the pages. Mechanically minded kids will adore this. The potential for the pairing of these two books for middle school classrooms is really exciting.

  • Maddi Holmes
    2019-11-09 11:44

    I would recommend this book for the primary grades, second through third grade. I would categorize it as biographical nonfiction.I found this book extremely motivating. I think it will be very empowering for children. It all started with an idea! Too often children think they are incapable of doing things. We can’t let students continue to think negatively about themselves. They need to believe they can do whatever they set their minds to. I would definitely incorporate this book into my classroom.The illustrations are amazing as well. I love how the illustrator explained how the pictures were created. This could give the students an opportunity to create illustrations using the same techniques.

  • Beth Anderson
    2019-11-26 12:01

    The “claymation” art immediately invites you to pickup this book. Phenomenal! But as a writer, I was amazed by the text as well. The language is lyrical and engaging, the story expertly structured. History lurks on every page in both text and illustrations. What a great way to learn about this “underground” history!This book is an excellent selection for ESL students beyond elementary school. The language is rich with idioms and vivid vocabulary. It easily extends into history, politics, transportation, and offers an array of research opportunities.The Secret Subway is an excellent picture book on multiple levels!

  • Kimberly
    2019-11-14 10:02

    This is the second Red Nose Studio book I have read in the past week. The illustrations in this one are less creepy than in "The Garbage Barge," as the faces are not as grotesque. I actually found them quite charming and thought they worked for the time period. This was a fascinating story! It seems like this studio has a knack for choosing wacky and interesting stories to tell. I will look for more by them!

  • Jenny
    2019-11-14 12:40

    This was a fascinating look at Alfred Ely Beach's creation of New York City's first subway. In order to get permission to build it, he said it was just going to use pneumatic tubes to carry mail; however, he built a tunnel with a working subway. Not surprisingly, politics and power interfered and Beach wasn't able to extend his subway and it soon was abandoned. While I quite enjoyed the text, I was not a fan of the illustrations.

  • Tara Oshinski
    2019-11-15 09:45

    I judge historical stories based upon whether they leave me wanting to learn more. I was surprisingly uneducated on the development of the subway system in New York City. This story made me want to search out more information and pictures of this pneumatic subway and the drawing room that guests enter into. I'm not sure that I liked the images that accompanied this book. They gave more of an eerie feeling to this book. Overall, interesting story.

  • Manor Hill
    2019-11-14 05:04

    This is an informative view of Alfred Ely Beach's plan to clean up New York and ease travel all through a new invention - an underground train. Elementary readers will find it fascinating how Beach was able to proceed without anyone knowing. The pictures are excellent. While the author tries to leave out a lot of the politics involved with why the subway eventually didn't succeed, it left the reader wondering how something so wonderful wasn't a success.

  • MK
    2019-11-17 11:02

    I love the idea behind the book, which new innovations are created by people who dare to challenge existing forms, law and traditions. Without the wit and courage of Alfred Ely Beach, New York would not have built its underground. Little readers know they have to think of the box to get things done. While reading with my kid, we're so fascinated with the story and the art presented. We do appreciate the craft and the delicacy that is presented by the writer and the illustrator.

  • Anna Nesterovich
    2019-11-30 07:05

    Create, think of new ideas, take action, work hard and... see all your dreams crashed. I know it's a nonfiction, those are the facts and there is nothing to be done about it. But. It's a picture book! Which means written for kids 7 and under. And what is the take home message they are supposed to get from it?

  • Ameetha Widdershins
    2019-11-14 11:04

    Loved the illustrations. The story dressed up some facts. I wouldn't really say they were embellished dishonestly but the NYC Subway site was more grounded about them. I prefer facts about a story to be just as exciting outside the story.

  • Pauline
    2019-11-14 09:03

    Meticulously researched! I loved reading about something I'd never even considered/thought about.This book will appeal to kids who are always wondering how things work or how things in the modern world came to be.

  • Miss Ryoko
    2019-11-25 08:49

    This is a fascinating book with wonderful, creative illustrations. A historical picture book worth reading. The story is engaging, and the illustrations keep your attention. Well done!

  • Linda
    2019-11-08 07:50

    A very interesting presentation of the history of the subway in NYC using claymation. Should be very appealing to children.

  • Rachel Snyder
    2019-12-04 04:50

    4.5I really liked the "illustrations" done with 3D sculptures.

  • Erin Murphy
    2019-11-12 12:50

    Fascinating book on an interesting topic. I loved the illustrations!

  • Beatrice (Camille)
    2019-11-23 06:45

    loved the illustrations, the way the story was written was alright.

  • Emyrose8
    2019-11-21 09:40

    This book is coooool... the illustrations are with carved wooden figures and paper cutout settings. Plus it's a little known story of a guy who secretly built a mini-subway under NYC. Neat!

  • Carol Ekster
    2019-12-02 07:50

    Tight and beautifully written nonfiction picture book. I just am not a huge fan of the illustrations.