Sign up for our free newsletter

The District is used to being ignored by such noble institutions as Congress and Major League Baseball. Now add to that list award-winning children’s-book author and artist Peter Sís. In The Train of States, due out on Sept. 21, Sís depicts a train in which each car represents a member of the Union. Bringing up the rear—in the form of the caboose—is the District. Though Sís insists the District’s placement was supposed to be special, he also admits to a little absentmindedness. “I forgot about D.C. as a state,” he says, adding he chose to make it the caboose because he “couldn’t make it into the car with refreshments.” Wanda Jones, a children’s librarian with the Georgetown Branch of the D.C. Public Library sees Sís’ book as a learning tool. “It would be a nice discussion point,” she says. “You could get real political.” —Mike Kanin