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The Year of Fire Hardcover – February 28, 1993

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry; 1st U.S. ed edition (February 28, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689505663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689505669
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,835,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this copiously illustrated, large-format chapter book, a girl is on her annual visit to the country to help her grandfather make maple syrup. Gazing into the flames below the pan of boiling sap, the girl asks the kind man if he has ever seen a fire bigger than this, which inspires him to recount the vivid tale of a spectacular blaze that swept through the countryside in 1919, destroying an entire forest and a neighbor's house and fields. Jam's storytelling skills bring the reader to the edge of the burning woods: "The fire was growing before our eyes, a wall of flame shooting up into the sky, trees exploding in great showers of sparks, so loud you could hear them right across the valley." Varying in size from small panels to two-page spreads, Wallace's ( Morgan the Magnificent ) intricate, pen-and-ink and watercolor pictures ably convey the immense power of the raging fire--as well as the strong bond between the girl and her grandfather. The artist's subdued palette echoes the old-fashioned tone of the story--a narrative that effectively preserves the oral tradition of stories handed on from one generation to another. Ages 6-10.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-- A grandfather reminisces about a forest fire that once swept the Canadian maple grove where he and his granddaughter are now sugaring. In fact, it swept away most of the village, including the school and a neighbor's house. The blaze occurred in the fall, ruining the landscape, but its effects were mercifully covered over by snowfall. But the fire smoldered at the roots of those trees remaining upright, until spring, when the snow melted and the trees fell over. There is not much more to the story than this, except for the extraordinary details that only a first-hand observer and participant might comment on: the peremptory nature of the father who finds that his children have tagged along to fight the fire; the loss of one brother's eyebrows, singed by a sudden flame; the sight of a mother throwing empty pails out the door; the resumption of school lessons in the church; the picture of the burnt-out trees falling over in the spring, seemingly without provocation. The fine-point ink drawings, carefully washed with watercolors and pencil, are equally evocative in their expansiveness across two-page spreads. As the granddaughter notes, the account ends without much of an ending, but it is such an extraordinary true-to-life story that it deserves retelling. --Ruth K. MacDonald, Quinnipiac College, Hamden, CT
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By M. Heiss on February 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
3 stories in one - a girl and her grandfather together on a farm; the grandfather's storytelling; and a description of how fires rejuvenates the earth. The illustrations are very detailed - almost oriental landscapes.

I really like this one. There is plenty of story there to captivate even older readers, and it is perfect for family reading time.
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