From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-- About to embark on a trip around the world, Edith and her maid are instead swept up in the disorder and turmoil generated by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The two young women find themselves stranded in the city, initially in search of Edith's father but ultimately trying to survive and help other displaced residents. Their harrowing adventures are captured on film by Edith, a character based on the real photographer Edith Irvine. Along the way, the girls connect with a variety of citizens, including (incredibly) Jack London, Enrico Caruso, and a drunken John Barrymore. While the photographic device is interesting, at times it threatens to control the story, and the language of the era sounds stilted. However, Gregory brings the emotions, chaos, and governmental coverups to life, and readers (especially those knowledgeable about the city) will keep reading to see how the girls and San Francisco fare. --Susan Knorr, Milwaukee Public Library, WI
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
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) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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