BYWAYS: Pennsylvania

Byways Entries

Every Byways book is a story, but it’s also a game. There’s an educational element to this series of kids chapter books. Details in each story are borrowed from its assigned state. (As in the United States of America.) Byways will work through all fifty in order of ratification, so Book #2 covers our second state—Pennsylvania. Sharp-eyed readers will spot cities and towns, icons and emblems, famous firsts and claims to fame. Hide and seek. Search and find. Fun and learning.

Family Crest, PA

Let’s give a quick sampling of details from Byways #2, Aboard the Train: A Ewan Johns Adventure.


  • Ewan takes a train for the first leg of the race. The First Continental Railroad Company is named for the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That’s where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.
  • The two little girls Ewan meets have names inspired by places in Pennsylvania. Tamaqua is a town, and Juniata is both a river and a county.
  • A few Pennsylvania cities inspired an interesting legend in the storyline—Seven Fields, Seven Springs, Seven Valleys.
  • Ewan stays with the Lancaster Sisters, who run an inn in Roaring Springs.
  • Many Pennsylvania towns were easy to work into the story, like Bath, Paint, Pillow, and Wall.
  • There are more than two hundred covered bridges left in Pennsylvania. There used to be 1,500. That’s why the state is known as the Covered Bridge Capital of the World.

01 Covered Bridge

Ask Yourself

  • What does the shape of the lanterns on the cover of Byways, Book #2, Aboard the Train have to do with the state of Pennsylvania?

Are you from Pennsylvania? Have you been to Pennsylvania? Do tell!

When will we get to your state?
The release schedule >>

Introduce yourself to the Johns family for just 99¢ with Byways, Book #1,
On Your Marks: The Adventure BeginsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

01 On Your Marks 600

6 thoughts on “BYWAYS: Pennsylvania

  1. Oh wow, I live in Pennsylvania and I didn’t know all of that! Seven Fields I recognized, I have some friends who live there.:)
    Hm, the first thing that came to mind about the lanterns was that they reminded me of Paul Revere’s Ride. “One if by land and two if by sea.” But I have the wrong state.:)


    1. I’m learning so many fascinating little tidbits about each state as I go along. I’m just waiting for someone to tell me they’re FROM one of the towns that became a key character. (I also would love to travel to all these places that have taken on a life of their own in my imagination.)

      Hint: The shape of the lanterns on the cover has something to do with one of Pennsylvania’s nicknames!


      1. Aha, I think I have it! Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone state. Are the lanterns shaped like keystones?
        Oh, I would be simply estatic if you ever flew up my way for a visit! I still have much to learn about Pennsylvania myself.:)


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