Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hill of Fire


Hill of Fire. Thomas P. Lewis. Illustrated by Joan Sandin. 1971. 64 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: Once there was a farmer who lived in Mexico. He lived in a little village, in a house which had only one room.

Premise/plot: Pablo's father, a farmer, is always, always saying nothing EVER happens on their farm, in their village. Every day is the same: dull and predictable. But one day SOMETHING happens, and Pablo witnesses it all. The two are in their field plowing when suddenly a VOLCANO begins to form. What started as crack in the ground soon becomes a big volcano--an erupting volcano. From the moment "it" appears--the crack-soon-to-be-a-volcano--Pablo runs to warn the villagers. It isn't long before the villagers are fleeing the village for safety. Indeed the whole village will have to be relocated and rebuilt.

This is a nonfiction early reader set in Mexico in 1943. A father and son truly witnessed the formation of a new volcano. That is far from an ordinary occurrence. The author's note states that human eyes--so far as we know from records--have only witnessed two such events. (Paricutin in Mexico and Tenerife in the Canary Islands.)

My thoughts: I remembered this book from Reading Rainbow. I'm not sure I ever read it myself until I found it in my local charity shop. Even though it was not in the best shape--a discarded library copy from Connecticut of all places--I knew I had to have it. The story was just as absorbing as I remembered it. Definitely recommended.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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