PONDFIRE by Bill Maynard

PONDFIRE

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Maynard (Quiet, Wyatt!, 1999) makes fire the pivotal plot element in this short, episodic action novel. In the small village of McIntosh, Jed, the fire chief’s son, is branded a fire bug for a past transgression in which he accidentally burned down the family garage. Now, when a local swamp catches fire, he is the first to be blamed. Norm Dempsey, wannabe fire chief, is first to point the finger. Through a freak accident, Jed’s father lands in a coma in the hospital. A series of fires, a swamp fire, brush fire, barn fire, and school fire in the sports equipment room, forms a string of actions that make up the story. Toss in a few boyish pranks and some not-so-subtle clues and the story builds to its natural climax--an even bigger fire. This time, a monster train wreck sets the whole pond ablaze. Not surprisingly, Jed takes charge and steps in to rescue the day, the nursing home and surrounding houses, with a little help from his recuperating father, all in the name of saving face and proving that Norm Dempsey is behind the arsons. This fast-moving, predictable fare has some great action sequences, with appeal for mystery fans. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-399-23439-X
Page count: 149pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2000