THE PRAIRIE FIRE by Marilynn Reynolds


Age Range: 4 - 8
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The grasslands of the Canadian west serve as a setting for this coming-of-age story from Reynolds. A parched summer means trouble for Percy’s homesteading family. His father decides to plow a fireguard around the house and Percy is eager to help, but his parents advise him to wait a couple more years to shoulder a man’s work. Then the dreaded happens, as a prairie fire advances over the horizon toward their farm. There is no time to waste; his parents man the fireguard while Percy is put in charge of dousing the spot fires set off by flying ash. This he does with responsibility and imagination, deploying a clever trick to calm his skittish horse. After the fire passes and time comes to collect the oxen from the slough, Percy is asked to help: “It’s a job for two men. Why don’t you come with me, Son?” This exciting story is realistically told; Percy indeed earns his stature, while Kilby’s illustrations allow the prairie and the wildfire each to take on a haunting presence. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-55143-137-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1999


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