When Jackie Saved Grand Central

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Natasha Wing
Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Year: 2017
ISBN: 9780547449210
Pages: 48

First Lady Jackie Kennedy is known for her work of restoring the White House and making it a building Americans are proud of. But when Jackie leaves the White House and returns to her home city of New York, she finds another building in need of restoration— Grand Central Station. Once the most beautiful and impressive railroad terminal in the world, Grand Central has become run-down and dirty after years of use, and its owners want to demolish the building and replace it with a skyscraper. Jackie is determined to save the building and set a precedent for the protection of other historic American buildings, and takes her fight all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court rules in favor of the preservation of Grand Central Station, and with Jackie’s input, the building is renovated and restored to its former glory.

Watercolor illustrations accompany the text of this little known story of Jackie Kennedy and her fight for Grand Central Station; however, Jackie is consistently depicted as having tiny, toothpick-like legs and no feet, a feature which may detract from the otherwise high-quality illustrations, especially given that she is the only character depicted in this manner. The detailed information presented in the book is factual and accurate, and an author’s note and list of selected sources after the story provide additional information and resources for further study. This story of Jackie Kennedy proves that with determination, one person truly can change the course of history.