Imagine the difficulty of such a trip in the early days of automobiles. There were absolutely no street signs in sight and few roads and highways had yet to be constructed.
Brown effortlessly weaves hard facts into the narrative and doesn’t shy away from the struggles Ramsey endures. The use of graphic descriptions such as “After plowing many miles through the choking mud,” gives readers action-packed details. I found myself on the edge of my seat, anticipating the next obstacle.
Brown explains how Ramsey fixes up her Maxwell, depicting everything from her wheels stuck in the mud, to a parade of pigs, to the whole car dropping into a pothole. Ramsey isn't deterred when her brake pedal is broken or the axle snaps. Displaying her can-do attitude, Ramsey fixes every hiccup herself. My favorite part of the story comes when she hikes up her skirt, trudging through a stream to measure whether or not her Maxwell would make it across.
Brown even adds in a sparkle of humor, making light of a bleak situation. Ramsey’s only source of written instructions came from a Kelly Bluebook, “Turn left at the end of the barn with the yellow silo, it might say.” Brown then declares “excellent directions as long as the famer hadn’t repainted the silo blue.” I found myself chuckling at such clever commentary throughout the book.
Brown exposes Ramsey’s resilience; she was incapable of giving up. Readers are introduced to each problem and Ramsey's successful solutions. "Alice Ramsey’s Grand Adventure" is a great introductory book for ages 4-8, introducing young readers to the human spirit in motion. More mature readers will find it fun as well!
- Automotive Hall of Fame intern Kai Benson