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Crossing on Time : Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World
Roaring Brook Press

Crossing on Time : Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World

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Crossing on Time
Author(s): David Macaulay

David Macaulay, co-creator of the international bestseller The Way Things Work, brings his signature curiosity and detailing to the story of the steamship in this meticulously researched and stunningly illustrated book.

Prior to the 1800s, ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean relied on the wind in their sails to make their journeys. But invention of steam power ushered in a new era of transportation that would change ocean travel forever: the steamship.

Award-winning author-illustrator David Macaulay guides readers through the fascinating history that culminated in the building of the most advanced—and last—of these steamships: the SS United States. This book artfully explores the design and construction of the ship and the life of its designer and engineer, William Francis Gibbs.

Framed around the author's own experience steaming across the Atlantic on the very same SS United States, Crossing on Time is a tour de force of the art of explanation and a touching and surprising childhood story.

A 2020 NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book
2020 Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year List


“A stunning celebration of ships like the S.S. United States.” —New York Times, Editors' Choice

“Macaulay details the design and construction of the vessel in his precise and often playful architectural drawings, luring in readers who might not otherwise be interested in physics and engineering.” —New York Times Book Review

“Macaulay's succinct, explanatory text propels the narrative, drawing readers into his meticulous, captioned artwork . . . Not to be missed.” —Booklist, starred review

“Macaulay’s beautifully detailed illustrations illuminate the blended text, and are so engaging that they will draw in readers otherwise reluctant about the content of the book itself . . . Perfect for collections in need of STEAM texts; a must-buy for any and all collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Stunning . . . This title has potential to draw audiences from budding engineers to history buffs to fans of the golden age of glamorous sea travel, and they’ll all find new understanding of this high-profile episode in transportation history.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

“Beyond the impressive scholarship and impeccable draftsmanship, Macaulay rounds out the reading experience with moments of humor, pleasingly atmospheric spreads, and a humanistic view of applied science.” —Horn Book, starred review

“A stunning book befitting its magnificent subject, Crossing on Time is a blue-ribbon read.” —Shelf Awareness

“Personal notes give this stirring tribute to speed, power, and technological prowess an unusually intimate air.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Macaulay continues to amaze with his architect-trained eye for detail and ability to make the complex understandable . . . A multilayered reading experience.” —Publishers Weekly

Praise for David Macaulay:

"There is a sense of wonder in David Macaulay's work. It's fresh and genuine." —The Washington Post

"Macaulay's elegant drawings, wry humor, and clear descriptions of the simplest and most complex structures and machines are . . . entertaining experiences for both children and adults." —MacArthur Fellows citation, 2006

ISBN:  9781596434776