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FIREBOAT: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey (Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (Awards)) Hardcover – August 5, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
As a native New Yorker now living in another state, I struggled daily to explain 9/11 to my students and my own children. Not until I saw "Fireboat" did I have a children's book to help my explanations. None of us can ignore what happened in 2001. I have seen parents and teachers try, and their children became more confused and scared by the secrecy than they would have been by an open discussion of the events.
I applaud the sensitive story, the beautiful artwork, and the idea that, out of the terror and horror of 9/11, we can find positive acts and hope.
I recommend this book to parents everywhere.
My 6-year old first fell in love with this book when he was 4, and he knows enough about 9/11 to know it was a horrible event. His dad (me) was next door to the WTC that morning, so he and his brother lived through waiting to hear from me with his mom.
The book is sensitive and touching. It's a great book and I highly recommend it. If you think your child might have a problem with ANY book, you should always read it yourself first.
Maira has done it again. She has written an extraordinary book about New York. Fireboat is a book about the tragedy of 9/11. The book focuses more on the Heroes than the tragedy. This book will be a good tool for teachers and parents to use to help explain the event. Fireboat is about a fireboat named Harvey. She starts with the history of the boat back in 1931. She also tells about other events that happened in 1931, "Snickers hit the stores... the word HOT-CHA was invented." Then it moves forward to 1995. Harvey was going to be scrapped, but a group of friends save the boat and restore it. Then there is a gray page that moves to 9/11. The book then illustrates two planes flying toward the twin towers. She then has a vivid illustration of the towers exploding. Maira then does a great job with describing the heroes and the crew of Harvey and then how Harvey had a great part in putting out the fires in New York after the attacks. The book then goes on to tell that Harvey was a hero and that heroes are "not forgotten". This book has great description, vivid and bold illustrations and great context. She does a great job writing a book that is so difficult to talk about. This book can be used with children to grade 4. However, with younger children a parent or teacher should be there to help explain the context since the illustrations are so vivid.
I was so shocked by the abruptness of the content switching from almost a sing-songy storyline, to airplanes crashing in to the towers. My son said they were bombs and smiled at the big explosion on the following pages. My eyes teared up as I remembered being pregnant with him while frantically driving home afraid that the Boston skyline behind me was about to be assaulted and changed forever.
Back on the couch in our living room, I realized that a discussion about 9/11 was going to have to take place before my first grader understands this tragedy and this book. I put the book away, and will return it to his school's library. I have chosen to let my 6 year old be a first grader, to live in a world that is at peace. For now.
He will soon enough learn that there are evil individuals in the world who could strike down innocent people by the thousands. Soon, enough. But not at 6 years old.
This book is an important book, particularly for children who experienced a direct impact from those terrifying days.
Note to publisher: Please republish with a tag line referring to 9/11 on the cover.
My son was just 3 in September 2001, and he saw our tears and knew we were frightened. When we reached the section of this book where the planes hit the buildings, he turned to me and said, "So THAT'S what happened." He was relieved to have the upsetting topic finally explained. Even years later, he has trouble understanding the heroes who died; many of the nuances and realities of that time simply elude him. Fireboat helped me broach the subject in a way that he seemed OK with.
Like other reviewers, I'm surprised at those who felt blindsided mid-read to their children. I can't understand not taking a second to flip through a book before reading any book to a child. To blame the book for a parental oversight seems very unfair. And also, avoiding the 9-11 topic with small children seems like whistling past the graveyard. Better to read a book like this, with some historical perspective and optimism, then to have a child like mine who felt in the dark and frightened of the unknown.
This is a cheery, well-written book about a terrible topic. The author walks a fine line between being too glib and too severe, but in the end, it's a successful effort.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredible book to read and introduce students to Patriots Day- September 11.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Buyer beware, this book quickly changes from a story about an old restored fireboat to a graphic retelling of 911. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Frances
I love this book for my second graders. We always focus on the Heroes of 9-11 and this book is great for that.Published 9 months ago by TodMarCom
The illustrations on this book are awesome. The book is good to share with children during the week of the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001Published 10 months ago by LGist
Great story to help young children focus on the heroism from 9-11! I've read this book for two years now and my classes love it!Published 11 months ago by June M Lopez
My oldest son brought this book home from his school library when he was in kindergarten 10 years ago. I sobbed the first time I read it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by carrie williams