EARTHQUAKE AT DAWN

En route to a photographic exhibit in Paris and a trip on around the world, Edith and Daisy (the narrator) arrive in San Francisco just before the great earthquake of 1906 and are separated from Edith's father in the ensuing confusion. While they search for him in the crowds and rubble during the next several days, Edith surreptitiously takes 60 photographs (an act forbidden by authorities hoping to conceal the extent of the damage). Unable to reach City Hall, where they had hoped to find him, the girls join others camping in Golden Gate Park, sharing the deprivations and horrors amid aftershocks, explosions, and fires, and eventually return home: their ship has sunk in the harbor. Three photos and a brief note in a 1990 National Geographic sparked the research that led to Gregory's third historical novel. Daisy (15) is fictional, but Edith is based on Edith Irvine, who did record the earthquake's devastation. Touching and exciting, this close-up has immediacy and an authentic voice that bring history vividly to life. A map would have been useful. Preface; afterword; bibliography; b&w photos not seen. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-15-200446-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1992

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Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense.

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REFUGEE

In the midst of political turmoil, how do you escape the only country that you’ve ever known and navigate a new life? Parallel stories of three different middle school–aged refugees—Josef from Nazi Germany in 1938, Isabel from 1994 Cuba, and Mahmoud from 2015 Aleppo—eventually intertwine for maximum impact.

Three countries, three time periods, three brave protagonists. Yet these three refugee odysseys have so much in common. Each traverses a landscape ruled by a dictator and must balance freedom, family, and responsibility. Each initially leaves by boat, struggles between visibility and invisibility, copes with repeated obstacles and heart-wrenching loss, and gains resilience in the process. Each third-person narrative offers an accessible look at migration under duress, in which the behavior of familiar adults changes unpredictably, strangers exploit the vulnerabilities of transients, and circumstances seem driven by random luck. Mahmoud eventually concludes that visibility is best: “See us….Hear us. Help us.” With this book, Gratz accomplishes a feat that is nothing short of brilliant, offering a skillfully wrought narrative laced with global and intergenerational reverberations that signal hope for the future. Excellent for older middle grade and above in classrooms, book groups, and/or communities looking to increase empathy for new and existing arrivals from afar.

Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense. (maps, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-88083-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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An outstanding new edition of this popular modern classic (Newbery Award, 1961), with an introduction by Zena Sutherland and...

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS

Coming soon!!

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1990

ISBN: 0-395-53680-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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