Deborah Hopkinson

Award Winning Author of Fiction & Nonfiction for Children & Teens

Into the Firestorm

A Novel of San Francisco, 1906

Into the Firestorm

What is this book about?

“I believe I can just see you on the streets of that bright city.”

Gran’s gone now, but her words live on with Nicholas Dray, almost twelve, as he makes his way from the hot cot­ton fields to that Queen of Cities: San Fran­cis­co. Nick’s on his own for the first time, with nowhere to turn. Then he meets jaun­ty, talk­a­tive Pat Pat­ter­son, own­er of the most beau­ti­ful store — and the friend­liest gold­en dog — in all the city. And for the first time in months, Nick feels safe. Safe in San Francisco.

But the year is 1906, the month is April, and ear­ly one morn­ing the walls begin to shake. The floor begins to buck­le. And the earth opens up. A dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake and then rag­ing firestorms rav­age the city, and Nick is right in the mid­dle of it all. But for a young boy who’s got few ties and noth­ing to lose, what’s the right choice: escape to safe­ty or stay — at dead­ly risk — to help others?

A sus­pense­ful and care­ful­ly researched nov­el of the Great 1906 San Fran­cis­co Earth­quake and Fire and of one boy’s hero­ic fight to sur­vive it.


“Engross­ing.” (Book­list)

“Based on eye­wit­ness accounts, the tale brings to life an event young read­ers will find fas­ci­nat­ing.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Mid­dle graders in search of quick, enter­tain­ing his­tor­i­cal fic­tion — ide­al for book reports — should take a look.” (The Bul­letin of the Cen­ter for Chil­dren’s Books)

Into the Firestorm

author, Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son
Knopf Books for Young Read­ers
ages 8 and up, 2006
ISBN 978–0375836527

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