Rose Ann Woolpert is a member of the board of directors of US-based Graniterock. The construction materials company is situated in California and is 118 years old.
The series of children’s books, part of what has been dubbed the ‘Yes We Will’ series, provides “nearly true” stories of trucks, trains and construction. They were written to teach children about how roads and buildings are made, and to provide insight into Northern California’s construction history and Graniterock’s past employees.
According to an Aggregates Manager article, Engine Number Ten is the first of three books that Woolpert wrote after losing her husband (and former Graniterock CEO) Bruce as a way to promote and honour his positive approach to business.
A Mercury News article noted inspiration for the books also came from Graniterock’s catalogue of old photographs.
“We have 115 years of just fantastic photographs that have been saved,” Woolpert said. “I was trying to figure out a way to share these great pictures that show how this region was built by people.”
Engine Number Ten tells the story of Graniterock’s last steam engine before the company converted to diesel trains. “I noticed that a co-worker’s son was obsessed with trains,” Woolpert added. “We had this wonderful story about a train that worked in our quarry.”
Woolpert has authored two additional books – Big Bill and His Little Mixer Truck and Cauliflower Boulevard.
The former is about a past Graniterock employee who worked for the company for 46 years.
The latter is about the experience of American author John Steinbeck – who won a Nobel Prize in Literature in the 1960s – who worked on a Graniterock road crew. Steinbeck’s novels include Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat.
Established in 1900, Graniterock provides gravel, sand, concrete and asphalt to the North American construction industry.
For more information about Yes We Will Books, visit yeswewillbooks.com