17. Fire in the Sky: A Tale of the Hindenburg Explosion

Fire in the Sky: A Tale of the Hindenburg Explosion by J. Gunderson. Illustrated by Claude St. Aubin* (Canada) - (US)
Graphic Flash series

Pages: 49
Ages: 8+
Finished: Jan. 18, 2011
First Published: Mar. 30, 2009
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Genre: children, historical fiction, graphic hybrid
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:

I had the best bedroom in Germany.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Stone Arch Books.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my son as part of our history curriculum.

This is a hi-low chapter book with occasional pages of graphic panels used within the story to continue the action instead of text, a hybrid. Michael Roth, his brother and father, an American, are moving to America from Germany for at least the duration of the war and they are coming via the Hindenburg. Michael has been fascinated with the airship ever since it was built. There is a strange man aboard whom Michael starts to wonder if he is a spy who plans to blow the airship up. As Michael sneaks around trying to figure out the mystery of this man, the reader is given a lot of interesting information about the Hindenburg in particular and zeppelins in general. Also the beginning of the story, sets the stage for WWII discussion. It is 1936 and not much has exactly happened, as far as the Roth family know, but the topics of Nazis, Hitler, and the treatment of Jews early on are mentioned. This is perfect for younger children as it broaches the subject without getting into anything graphic. Mostly it is an interesting little story about the Hindenburg. We both enjoyed the fictional story and after reading the book we watched the live footage of the explosion on YouTube.

*The illustrator is a Canadian


Popular Posts