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The Boy Who Saved Cleveland Hardcover – April 4, 2006

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Hardcover, April 4, 2006
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (April 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805073558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805073553
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,299,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-4 Giblin bases this novel on actual historical events. In 1798, Ohio wasn't a state yet and Cleveland was just three cabins in the woods. Seth Doan lives in one of those cabins with his sister and parents. Like any youth of that time and place, the 10-year-old is well aware of how fragile life can be. A cross marks the grave of his baby brother, and he still misses the twins who died back East. When his family falls ill of malaria, the boy must make the four-mile round trip to grind corn, the mainstay of their diet. The other families also fall ill, so the settlement's survival depends on him. Giblin describes well the pioneers' spartan way of life. Seth's family owns just one book, the Bible. He loves its stories, and turns to them to calm his fears. The author's straightforward style underplays the drama that the title reflects. Like boys of his time, Seth simply does what needs to be done. Adults will admire the themes of perseverance, education, and responsibility. Young readers will enjoy the clear writing and plot-driven pace. Dooling's full-page pencil-on-paper illustrations convey the time period as well as the emotional tone. A solid choice for those seeking pioneer fiction and strong characters. Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-6. Giblin recounts the story of 10-year-old Seth Doan, who helped to save the early settlers of Cleveland, Ohio, during an outbreak of malaria in 1798. When the shakes and fever fell his parents and sister, only Seth is left to carry water, nurse the sick, and haul corn two miles uphill to the Kingsbury mill to be ground into cornmeal for the day's food. It's a big job for a boy, complicated by the fact that the Doans' neighbors are also sick, so he must also carry corn for them. One of Giblin's few forays into fiction, this story feels like a natural extension of his highly respected nonfiction work; the background research is still clearly evident, but added to that are some finely nuanced, believable characters. Dooling's realistic pencil illustrations, which focus on the characters and their feelings, will help younger readers to visualize the rustic setting. A welcome addition to the first-chapter-book genre and to the historical fiction shelves. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J Johnson on September 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Boy Who Saved Cleveland is the wonderful coming of age story of Seth Doan. Although this is a work of fiction, Giblin has based the book on actual events. In the summer of 1798, the small settlement of Cleveland experiences a malaria outbreak. Many of the founders fall ill to the "shakes and fever" and it is left up to Seth Doan to supply food for the entire settlement. Seth has been protected from hardwork by his father, who fears something may happen to his only surviving son. Although, understandably terrified by the task ahead, Seth sets out to try and save his family and the rest of the settlement his father has worked hard to help establish. This book is great for children in grades 3-5. The sentences flow smoothly and has a vocabulary that will challenge young readers. In addition, the historical setting is sure to captivate young history lovers.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By blbooks on July 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
James Cross Giblin is known for writing extraordinary nonfiction books for young adults. His books have a reputation for being accurate, readable, and above all enjoyable.

THE BOY WHO SAVED CLEVELAND is a departure in some ways from your typical Giblin book. It is a fiction book for young readers--I'd estimate second to fourth graders. Definitely a "chapter-book" look and style to it, clear, easy-to-read, straight forward text, short chapters. Also, the book is fiction not nonfiction.

THE BOY WHO SAVED CLEVELAND is based on a true story of a young boy who saved his small settlement in 1798 from from a malaria epidemic. As one by one his family members and neighbors get sick it is his responsibility to take the corn to the mill to grind. Each day his burdens become heavier as more neighbors add in sacks of corn to be taken to the mill. This young boy has a great responsibility, and a newfound purpose. He is proud of his accomplishments...and is taking his first steps to manhood.

Overall, while not as 'fascinating' to adult readers like his YA books are...it's hard to have a 'fascinating' chapter book...it is an enjoyable read that I hope many children will enjoy.

The illustrations by Michael Dooling are also impressive.
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By Ohioan on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the true story of a young boy in a small farming settlement in Ohio, back when Ohio was the wild frontier. One by one, the adults in the village come down with malaria, but Seth Doan does not. Although he is only ten years old, it becomes his responsibility -- because this is a matter of survival -- to carry corn to the mill each day, so that it can be ground and then cooked and eaten. As more and more people come down with malaria, Seth's job grows more and more burdensome, because he ends up carrying more and more grain each day. But Seth meets the challenge and thus the community that would become Cleveland is saved. An inspiring story, though a bit slow.
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