199. Earthquake! A Story of Old San Francisco

Earthquake! A Story of Old San Francisco by Kathleen V. Kudlinski. illustrated by Ronald Himler (Canada) - (USA)
Once Upon America series

Pages: 56 pages
Ages: 7+
Finished: Sept. 22, 2010
First Published: 1993
Publisher: Puffin Books
Genre: Children, historical fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:

"Oh, be quiet, Buster," Phillip grumbled into his pillow.

Acquired: Purchased my own copy.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to the 10yo as part of our history curriculum.

This short historical fiction chapter book takes place over only a moment in time. From the first shakings of the earthquake in 1906 until the morning afterwards the reader joins Philip has he lives through this devastating disaster. The first half of the story focuses on Philip and his family as they struggle with the earthquake and its aftermath along with the shocking sights and sounds as people walk en masse out of the city. The last half concerns Philip as he is left behind to watch the stable while Pa takes Mama and his younger brother to Aunt Eleanor's in a not too distant town for safety. Philip is left to deal with the worst of the situation by himself as the fires rage out of control and ultimately head towards him. He loves the horses and they are his family's livelihood. Will he be able to save them in time?

An entirely plot driven story with continuous action from the get go. It puts one right in the middle of the historical event and was an exciting experience for my son. A good little book that brings history alive.


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