Wednesday, April 18, 2007
San Francisco Earthquake
Hopkinson, Deborah. 2006. Into The Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906.
Nicholas Dray is a young boy, an orphan of sorts, who has been wandering around since his grandmother’s death until he comes to San Francisco. Here he feels at home...at home even though he is technically homeless. Hungry, homeless, and wanting more than anything to find a job so he can support himself without having to end up in another orphanage, his luck begins to change when he is hired days before the great quake. His new employer, Pat Patterson, entrusts him with a job of keeping his dog and store safe from burglars as he goes on a business trip. Little does he know what will happen those few days he is gone. It is a story that is exciting and terrifying. Exciting because you want to keep reading it to find out what happens next, but terrifying because you want him and his friends--and yes even the dog--to end up safe at the end. I highly recommend this book for those interested in this subject.
Into the Firestorm was inspired by a story I came across while researching the disaster. A boy named Charles Nicholas Dray had run away from a county poor farm and been taken in by a local merchant just a few days before the fire. Left alone while his new employer was away on business, Nick braved a soldier’s gun to rescue business records and his employer’s dog, a retriever named Brownie. p. 199
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