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THE TRAIN THAT COULD

The three books Chelsea Clinton recalled in her ode to Hillary are flying off shelves

AP Photo/Paul Sancya
They've come a long way from reading hour.
  • Thu-Huong Ha
By Thu-Huong Ha

Reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

A 54-year-old science fantasy book and a children’s book about trains are being bought online in a frenzy, thanks to Chelsea Clinton.

In her speech Thursday, July 28, at the Democratic National Convention, Chelsea praised her mother and presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton for always making time to read to her granddaughter, Charlotte. A perennial favorite for the pair, she said, is Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo, a board book by Kevin Lewis, with illustrations by Daniel Kirk.

Chelsea also mentioned two other widely loved books in her speech: Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle in Time and Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon. Within 24 hours, all three shot up among the fastest growing books on Amazon.

Lewis, a New York-based writer and children’s book editor, offers a touching reaction to Chelsea’s recognition on his Facebook:

…The fact that this first female nominee from a major political party uses my words—words written by the grandson of sharecroppers and the product of head start and need-based college grants. Words written by a survivor of some of the worst that systemic racism has to offer. Words written by a man who was only able to marry the love of his life five years ago. She uses my words to bond with her granddaughter… well, what’s the word for that?

Within 24 hours of the speech, Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo was up from 3,656th place to 210th: a meteoric 1,454% rise. A Wrinkle in Time was at 74th place in Amazon’s books list, up from about 431th place 24 hours earlier. And perennial bestseller Goodnight Moon, illustrated by Clement Hurd, had jumped from 59th place to 46th.

Chelsea explained onstage that Goodnight Moon was a book her mother read to her as a child. A Wrinkle in Time, on the other hand, was one she obsessed over on her own. ”I remember one week talking incessantly about a book that had captured my imagination, A Wrinkle in Time,” she recalled. “Only after my parents had listened to me would they then talk about what they were working on, education, healthcare, what was consuming their days and keeping them up at night.”

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