What Was the San Francisco Earthquake? – by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, illustrated by Ted Hammond


61iocvmkvfl  What Was the San Francisco Earthquake? (What Was…?) – by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, illustrated by Ted Hammond, Grosset and Dunlap, (9780399542121), 2016.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5:  5

What did you like about the book? Veteran writers Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler ably describe the events in 1906 when a massive earthquake and subsequent firestorm destroyed three-quarters of San Francisco. The authors work their way chronologically through the earthquake, the spread of fires, heroic firefighting efforts, and the extinguishing of the last fire three days later. Anecdotes about specific people, such as a famous opera star who had to sing on the docks to earn his way out of the city, personalize the story. Final chapters describe rebuilding efforts and precautions taken against future quakes. Keeping to the formula used in previous books in this series, the length is just over one hundred pages, including sixteen pages of photos and numerous black and white drawings by Ted Hammond. End pages include timelines for San Francisco and earthquakes in world history as well as a Bibliography.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Give this to young people in third to sixth grade who like to read about real life disasters.

Readalike: What Was the Great Chicago Fire?

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries, middle school libraries, and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with other histories of the San Francisco Earthquake in 979.4

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, if you enjoy narrative non-fiction.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  11/20/16

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