Foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is the act of hinting at events that will happen later in a poem, story, or play. Foreshadowing helps create suspense in a story. Look for examples of foreshadowing as you read The 11:59.
Suspense. Suspense is a feeling of anxiety or curiosity. Writers create suspense by raising questions in the readers mind and by using details that create strong emotions. As you read this story, use a graphic organizer like the one to the right to make a list of ways that the author builds suspense and makes us wonder what will happen to the main character, Lester.
History Connection. From 1880 to the 1960s, trains offered an efficient means of travel for many Americans. The Pullman sleeping car, developed in 1864, provided passengers with comfortable sleeping quarters for overnight trips. By the 1920s, more than 100,000 people slept in Pullman sleeping cars on any given night.
The men who tended to the sleeping berths, carried luggage, and assisted passengers were Pullman porters. For nearly a century, these porters were almost exclusively African American.
In their quarters at train stations (called porter houses) and in the backs of trains, porters shared their experiences and told stories such as the story of the Death Trainthe 11:59.
Describe a time when you had a feeling something bad was going to happen. Did your feeling turn out to be an accurate prediction?