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John Blair and the Great Hinckley Fire Hardcover – September 26, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618015604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618015603
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-John Blair, an African-American railway porter, was a hero during the 1894 disaster that killed more than 400 people living in the remote Minnesota backwoods. Here, Nobisso describes the phenomenon of a firestorm that moved so explosively that settlers escaped their woodland homes to embark on the train, thus doubling its load. Despite the unbearable heat, Blair kept comforting passengers and sprayed water on them. He finally led them off the train into the safety of a swamp. An epilogue explains how the Great Hinckley Fire gave rise to the forest-fire monitoring program in the United States and that John Blair was later recognized for his valor. The descriptive language conveys the seriousness of the situation and reads well aloud. The watercolor illustrations are mostly double-page spreads featuring lots of smoky gray and hot-orange backgrounds and impressionistic renderings of the suffering, terrified people. The format is large for group sharing and the story would tie in well with studies of Midwest settlement, forests, fires, railroads, and notable African Americans.
Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"An exciting introduction to a little-known incident in American history and to a genuine African-American hero." —Kirkus Reviews (8/15/00) Kirkus Reviews

"John Blair emergees as a quiet hero . . . a man who simply behaved the way we all hope we might, were we to face such awful danger." —Riverbank Review (Fall 2000)

"A powerful one-stop introduction to a little-known historical event." —The Bulletin (10/00) The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The descriptive language conveys the seriousness of the situation and reads well aloud. . . . The format is large for group sharing and the story would tie in well with studies of Midwest settlement, forests, fires, railroads, and notable African-Americans." —SLJ, 12/00 School Library Journal

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my favorite books for young readers. Have used it with students from first to eight grade. All have found it engaging and interesting because of the great illustrations and the fact it was based on actual events.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Advertised as "like new-used." It arrived with one tiny "bump" on the spine -- other than that it was in excellent condition for a "used book!!! Very moving, true story also! Thanks!!!!
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By NorthStream on February 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this story of heroism, and information about fire. It is a great addition to my classroom library, and a great resource for teaching about the deadly nature of prairie fires.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. conway on September 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Another fabulous , wonderful, and insightful book authored by Mrs. Nobisso! Do not stop with just one or two of her books. All of her books are to read, enjoyed, and passed down!
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More About the Author

Josephine Nobisso's first story appeared in a national magazine when she was 18. In the ensuing 40+ years, she has published close to 90 books, mostly for children, but also published three romance novels for adults, under two pseudonyms. She has been published by many major houses, including Simon & Schuster, Putnam (Berkley/Jove), Houghton Mifflin, Scholastic (Orchard), Green Tiger Press, Rizzoli International, Pauline Books & Media, Winsow International, and Mondo Publishing. Her books have been translated into as many as 12 languages. Miss Nobisso regularly writes EFL books for three major Korean publishers, including Oxford University Press, and one of her Korean series has been turned into animated cartoons in that country.

With her daughter, Art Director Maria Nicotra, Josephine also runs the small press, Gingerbread Publishing House. It was launched in 2000 to bring back into print 3 of her out-of-print titles, but has since acquired 1 other o.p. title, and has gone on to produce 6 beloved and enduring original titles. Their list of 10 books, distributed by Independent Publishers Group, have won dozens of awards, and have appeared in the following five 5 major motion pictures, as set dressings:

"Motherhood," with Uma Thurman and Minnie Driver
"The Other Woman," with Natalie Portman and Scott Cohen
"The Switch," with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman
"Friends with Kids," with John Hamm and Megan Fox
"Two Days in New York," with Chris Rock and Julie Delpy

Each year, for the past quarter decade, and to consistently rave evaluations, Miss Nobisso conducts about 100 author visits and/or workshops in "The Nobisso Recommendations: Guiding Students to Write in Their Authentic Voices," part of which comes to life in her Show; Don't Tell! Secrets of Writing, a book for which she received "The Global Learning Initiative Award" for "The Best Trade Book (in the world!) with Educational Application"-- a singular citation jointly administered by the Association of Education Publishers and the Bologna Children's Book Fair. She has conducted dozens of staff develoment workshops, and presents intensive and innovative writing workshops at univerities in the United States and Italy.

The National Catholic Educational Association named her "Distinguished Graduate," The Wiilliam Floyd School District honored her with the "Distinquished Alumni Award" in 2013, and Delta Kappa Gamma--the international society of honored teachers-- named her "Friend of Education," for "someone outside the profession who has worked significantly toward improving the educational opportunities of others, and who has given outstanding service to promoting quality education."

Among the very many honors that Miss Nobisso books have received are five other awards for Show; Don't Tell! Secrets of Writing:
-the International Reading Association/Children's Book Council "Children's Choice Award,"
-an American Booksellers Association BookSense "Pick of the Lists" citation,
-a Parents' Choice Award,
-a National Parenting Publications Award,
-and a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Finalist.

Her 9 books eligible for awards have earned an extraordinary amount of other significant citations, among them:
-4 International Reading Association-Children's Book Council's "Children's Choices" awards
-Winner of The Northern Minnesota "Best Book of the Year Award"
-The National Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council's "Notable Social Studies Books for Young People," citation
- Learning Magazine's "Teachers' Choice Award"
-3 "The Catholic Press Association Awards"
-Parents' Magazine's "Best Books of the Year" citation
-Named to Bank Street College of Education's "Best Books of the Year" list
-National Parenting Publications Award, "NAPPA"
-3 Gold Independent Publisher's Awards, the "IPPY's"
-3 Gold "Moonbeam Awards"
-"Indie Excellence" Gold Award
-Silver Nautilus Book Award
-3 ForeWord Magazine "Book of the Year" finalists
-2 "Storyteller World" Awards
-Parent Council's "Outstanding" citation
-"Parents' Choice Foundation Recommended Book"
-4 Gold Medal "Mom's Choice Awards"
-Winner of the "Green Earth Book Festival."
-"The Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices" list
-Named to The Kansas-National Education Association's "Reading Circle"
-2 "Best Books of the Year" citations from the Association of Booksellers for Children
-5 American Booksellers' Association's "Pick of the Lists" (aka "Book Sense 76" and "Book Sense Picks")

Josephine is active with aspiring writers, co-founding The Long Island Children's Writers and Illustrators (LICWI) group more than 2 decades ago. Intermittently, since the early 1970's, she has been a member of The Author's Guild and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She cites having been acknowledged in 9 books by fellow writers as being the source of her greatest authorial pride.

Born to Italian parents on February 9, 1953, in the Bronx, Miss Nobisso attended P.S. 32 there, for Kindergarten, Saint Martin of Tours until the 4th grade, St. John the Evangelist Elementary School, and Mercy High School, in Riverhead, New York. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz, after having spent several semesters at l'Universita' degli Studi, in Urbino, Italy. In 3 years she earned a Provisional Teaching Certification, with a Specialization in Early Childhood, and graduated cum laude with a Contract Major in Foreign Languages. Miss Nobisso's languages are English, Italian (including the dialect, "'a Lengua Napuletan'"), passable French, and some German. She homeschooled her daughter from the 5th grade through high school. They live on the East End of Long Island, and on l'Alta Costiera Amalfitana, where they sing in the choir of La Santissima Annuziata.


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