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THE EARTH DRAGON AWAKES by Laurence Yep

THE EARTH DRAGON AWAKES

The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

By Laurence Yep

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: April 4th, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-027524-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

Eight-year-old Henry Travis and nine-year-old Chin, son of the family houseboy, experience the events of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 that destroyed both the Travis’s wealthy home and the Chin’s tenement apartment. Yep intersperses the fiction of Henry and Chin’s experiences with short chapters of facts about the earthquake and subsequent fire. This is a timely reminder of a historical disaster that turned over 2000 acres of city into a wasteland. Each chapter is headed with a time and place to help less than proficient readers keep track of the narrative strands. Simple sentence structure and the use of present tense throughout make this a very accessible introduction. With little character development, the focus is on the what rather than the who. Still, this is solid historical fiction full of details about the times and backed up with an afterword explaining the author’s connection and suggesting sources for further reading. It is notable especially for the attention paid to the experience of San Francisco’s Chinese immigrants, and a good choice for reluctant readers. (Historical fiction. 8-12)