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Joe McKendry (1972–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights

Born 1972, in Lowell, MA; Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Rhode Island School of Design, B.F.A.

Joe McKendry (Pencil drawing courtesy of Joe McKendry)


Agent—c/o Author Mail, David. R. Godine, Publisher Inc., 9 Hamilton Pl., Boston, MA 02108-4715.


Freelance artist and author. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, teacher; Massachusetts College of Art, teacher.


Beneath the Streets of Boston: Building America's First Subway, David R. Godine (Boston, MA), 2005.


An author and illustrator, Joe McKendry graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and then stayed on there as a teacher of illustration. He made his publishing debut by offering readers a fascinating glimpse into the history of America's first underground transit system in Beneath the Streets of Boston: Building America's First Subway. McKendry analyzes the traffic problems that plagued Boston's maze of streets during the late 1800s and prompted the development of an alternative form of public transportation. After a lengthy battle, the famous "T" system was built, sparking a longstanding transportation trend. McKendry follows the ongoing development of the city's subway system, highlighting both problem areas as well as accomplishments. "New England history buffs and those interested in the origins of mass transport will welcome this look at the beginnings of America's first subway," commented Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan in School Library Journal. A Kirkus Reviews critic referred to McKendry's book as "a stunning examination" of a challenging advance in transportation technology.

McKendry told SATA: "During the creation of Beneath the Streets of Boston my goal was to present as simply as possible the story of how and why America's first subway came to be built. Research was gathered from turn-of-the-twentieth-century transit commission reports that detailed every facet of the subway's construction. To learn about the public's reaction to the subway, I read newspaper articles or microfilm from important moments in the subway's development (i.e., when particular parts of the tunnel were first opened to the public). Illustrations are watercolor paintings based on photographs primarily from the collection of Historic New England."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, June 1, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of Beneath the Streets of Boston: Building America's First Subway, p. 1802.

Boston Globe, June 5, 2005, Jennifer Schuessler, "The First Big Dig."

Horn Book, September-October, 2005, Margaret A. Bush, review of Beneath the Streets of Boston, p. 605.

Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2005, review of Beneath the Streets of Boston, p. 640.

Publishers Weekly, July 19, 2004, Sally Lodge, "Climbing aboard the Subway," p. 92.

School Library Journal, September, 2005, Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, review of Beneath the Streets of Boston, p. 226.

Trains, September, 2005, Kathi Kube, review of Beneath the Streets of Boston, p. 74.


Joe McKendry Home Page, http://joemckendry.com (April 11, 2006).

Additional topics

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