SIMEON’S FIRE by Cathryn Clinton


Age Range: 8 - 12
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Clinton’s latest, a slim volume aimed at a younger readership than her previous works, examines the question: What if you’re afraid to tell the truth? Ten-year-old Simeon, an Amish boy, loves animals and the rhythms of his farm family’s life. His special relationships with his cow, Lena A, and with Dreamer, a draft horse he helps choose at auction, lead him to the barn late one summer night; while there, he decides to try one of his older brother’s cigarettes. When the barn catches fire, he’s afraid to tell what he knows—because the arsonists threaten reprisal, and because he may have also been to blame. Simeon’s dilemma is sensitively told. The farm and Amish ways spring to life with full characters and carefully chosen details. The ending, however, feels overly easy—the culprits are too quickly identified and Simeon’s decision to become a vet seems made without any understanding of what it would mean to leave his faith. Still, overall, it’s a story animal lovers will enjoy. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7636-2707-0
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2005


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