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If You Lived At The Time Of The Great San Francisco Earthquake Paperback – July 1, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

How did people escape on the Underground Railroad? What was it like to land on Ellis Island?How did it feel to travel the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon? Ellen Levine has revealed worldsof fascinating adventure with her nonfiction books for young readers.

Although Ellen Levine enjoys reading and writing fiction, most of her books for young readershave been nonfiction. “Writing nonfiction lets me in behind the scenes of the story. I enjoylearning new things and meeting new people, even if they lived 200 years ago.”

“Real heroes,” Levine says, “aren't necessarily on TV or in the news. They can be ordinarypeople who are willing to take risks for causes they believe in. Nonfiction offers a way tointroduce young readers to real people who have shown tremendous courage, even when facedwith great danger. All of us have the potential. And one doesn't have to be a grown-up,” sheadds.

When she's not writing, Levine likes to share the excitement of research and the importance ofaccuracy with young readers. “Many young people think research is dull; you go to anencyclopedia, copy information, give it a title, and call it a report.” Using her books asexamples, Ellen explains how to get other, more interesting information. “I may not mention theexact words, but I talk to young people about primary and secondary sources. If I'm speakingwith third graders, I ask them, 'Where would I go if I wanted to find out what it's like to be athird grader?' Most will say, 'Read a book.' But when they say, 'Ask a third grader,' I knowthey've understood what I mean by a primary source of inspiration.”

For If You Were an Animal Doctor, for example, Ellen witnessed an emergency operation on acow. While doing research in Wyoming for Ready, Aim, Fire!, her biography of Annie Oakley,she got to hold the gun Ms. Oakley is believed to have shot in the presence of the Queen ofEngland. “It gave me such a strong feeling about this person,” she says. “That's part of research,too.”

Ellen Levine is the author of many acclaimed books, both fiction and nonfiction. Among them:If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon, If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island, I Hate English!, If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King, and Secret Missions. Her recent book, Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories, was named one of the Ten Best Children's Books of the Year by The New York Times, and Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association.

Ellen divides her time between New York City and Salem, New York.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Series: If You…
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059045157X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439846905
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 8.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ellen Levine has always been drawn to stories of people who struggled for justice, and of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. She was fascinated by Henry "Box" Brown, whose escape is recounted in The Underground Railroad by William Still, first published in 1872. Ms. Levine was awed by Henry's ingenious idea and moved by his incredible courage. Among the author's award-winning books are Freedom's Children, winner of the Jane Addams Peace Award and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Darkness Over Denmark, a Jame Addams Peace Award Honor Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in New York City and Salem, New York.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WeeBeaks on June 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This follows the format of the other "If you..." historical books in the series. It has sections that are a page or two long with headings such as "What Would you Eat" or "What Would you Wear" and so forth. In this one, it included such headings as "Where Would you Live," "What Would you Take With You," how you could find lost relatives, and others related to the earthquake. I read this with kids age 4, 6 and 10. The 6 and 10 loved the book, even my reluctant learner 6yo. My 4yo surprisingly enjoyed much of it also. The language was simple, and much of the focus was on what the kids ate, lived and wore during the earthquake, making it more interesting to child readers. They covered that people did die, homes were lost and there was much sadness, but not in an overwhelming way. The overall tone was quite upbeat and informative. This is a big positive if you are reading it with a very sensitive child.

We have found some of the others in this series to be too long for my 6yo 1st grader, but not the case with this one. We read it over the course of three days in less than 1/2 hour increments, and his interest was held the entire time. He often asked for "more, more." Given he is often reluctant on historical books, this was a big factor in our 5-star rating for this book. If it can engage his wiggly little self, your kids might very much enjoy it too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Teachers are requesting the 4th, 5th, 6th and on graders to read non-fiction. These stories are well written, based on truthful facts, and illustrated beautifully! I am constantly ordering for my grandchildren and they enjoy the stories while learning of past events in history...
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By purplerme on July 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything was good, as advertised.
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If You Lived At The Time Of The Great San Francisco Earthquake
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