Charlie on the MTA: Did He Ever Return?
Julia M. O'Brien-Merrill
Do you know why the transit fare card in Boston is called the CharlieCard? Young readers will find out, and should bring an extra nickel along, when they hop aboard the “T” to follow Charlie through the streets of Boston in 1949. The full-page magical illustrations of Caitlin Marquis will take readers on a ride above and below the streets of Boston as they were in Charlie's time, zooming past familiar landmarks―many still standing, some long gone―wondering all the while, will Charlie ever return? Julia M. O’Brien-Merrill sets the story straight using original historical documents and the original M.T.A. song lyrics of the mayoral campaign song, written by Bess Lomax Hawes and Jackie Steiner, for her father Walter A. O'Brien, Jr. A timeline at the end of the book has juicy tidbits of Boston’s history surrounding this time-honored folk song, made famous by the Kingston Trio, and will inform and enthrall readers young and old.
A lifelong educator and daughter of a librarian and a reading teacher, Julia M. O'Brien-Merrill has firsthand knowledge of the power of reading richly illustrated children's books to teach about the world. She has had the good fortune to teach children in Maine, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, and China. Born in Boston, now living in Maine and retired from teaching English as a Second Language, she has time to play her violin, practice yoga, downhill ski, study Spanish, travel by land and by sea with her husband David, and visit with her westward-ho grown sons. In her first book Charlie on the M.T.A., Did He Ever Return?, she has fulfilled both her own and her father's dream of honoring his commitment to social justice through a book that will teach future generations about a piece of Boston history.
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