Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express Review

Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express

Video Review 
by Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, 
Maryland School for the Deaf

© 2003

Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express
by Margaret Wetterer
Illustrated by Karen Ritz
Signed by Rebecca Goldenbaum
VHS, 14 minutes, voice narration

Available from:
A Book A Day (State Adoptions in American Sign Language) series
©1997 California Department of Education
Clearinghouse for Specialized Media and Technology
560 "J" Street, Suite 390, Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.445.5103 (v), 916.323.2202 (tty), FAX: 916.323.9732
Email: rbrawley@cde.ca.gov
Note: Available for California schools only.

Wetterer’s recounting of the true story of young heroine Kate Shelley is given new life in this American Sign Language adaptation.  It is 1881 Iowa, and a huge thunderstorm has just washed out the railroad bridge near Kate’s house.  Fifteen-year-old Kate rushes through the downpour to find help for the two men still alive in the creek, and to warn the next station about the broken bridge before the midnight express train comes through.  Kate’s adventure is a nail-biter, more so because it is a true story.  The video pan’s Karen Ritz’s soft-edged paintings, and then the signer appears in front of them to tell the story.  Simultaneous voiceover of the text makes the video accessible to non-signers.


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