Children of the Fire

( 2 )

Overview

Eleven-year-old Hallelujah is fascinated by the fires burning all over the city of Chicago. Little does she realize that her life will be changed forever by the flames that burn with such bright fascination for her.
The year is 1871 and this event will later be called the Great Chicago Fire. Hallelujah and her newfound friend Elizabeth are as different as night and day; but their shared solace will bind them as friends forever, as a major ...

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Children of the Fire

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Overview

Eleven-year-old Hallelujah is fascinated by the fires burning all over the city of Chicago. Little does she realize that her life will be changed forever by the flames that burn with such bright fascination for her.
The year is 1871 and this event will later be called the Great Chicago Fire. Hallelujah and her newfound friend Elizabeth are as different as night and day; but their shared solace will bind them as friends forever, as a major American city starts to rebuild itself.

A young black girl named Hallelujah lives through the great Chicago fire with courage and resourcefulness.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Robinet makes history come alive in this riveting account of the Great Chicago Fire as witnessed by an orphaned African American girl. Eager for adventure, Hallelujah, a former slave, follows her foster brother through city streets to watch the conflagration that has started in Chicago's West Division. Excitement turns to fear when the 11-year-old girl sees rows of buildings engulfed in flames and realizes how many people have lost their homes. During the next few hours, as she weaves her way through crowds, experiences the chaos that is the aftermath of destruction and shares the pain of loss with strangers, Hallelujah learns how all people become equals in times of crisis. Hallelujah emerges as a likable, spunky heroine who discovers her self-worth during the course of events. Readers will feel the intensity of her emotions and will applaud her ability to cling to hope in the midst of disaster. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-- The Chicago fire of 1871 is seen as an adventure by 11-year-old Hallelujah. However, as she wanders the streets meeting the rich and poor of all races and religions dispossessed by the fire, she realizes that people's similarities are stronger than their differences. Hallelujah's maturation comes slowly and believably. Her mother was an escaped slave who brought her children safely to Chicago before dying, but Hallelujah is accustomed to an easier life with her foster parents. They have a house and give food to their unemployed Irish Catholic neighbors. Instead of being grateful, Hallelujah is often bossy and inconsiderate toward others. The night of the fire she becomes separated from her family and seeks excitement on her own. Moving around the city, she meets several ``children of the fire,'' and gets to know Rachael, a poor Jewish girl, and wealthy, snobbish Elizabeth. Hallelujah ends up helping Elizabeth and the girls stay together for several days. They become friends, but the message gets heavy-handed when they vow to remember that ``we're always free to be ourselves,'' and ``we're all equally special .'' Although the persistent resurgence of the racial/economic tolerance theme can be distracting, the story is vividly told and full of interesting historical details. Robinet evokes a real sense of the destruction the fire caused and the residents' quick determination to rebuild. The well-realized setting and unusual characters counterbalance the story's didacticism, making the book an uneven but worthwhile effort. --Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, County of Henrico Public Library, Richmond, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689839689
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ALADDIN
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 540,998
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2002

    u got to read this book

    this book is fantastic the best a book with vivd history u will learn alot read it and buy it and love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2001

    AN INCREDIBLE STORY ABOUT CHILDREN OF DIFFERENT RACES COMING TOGETHER DURING THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE`

    A fantastic book which gives great details about the Great Chicago Fire as told by a former slave girl. The young girl explores the city during the days of the fire and mees a variety of people, most of whom disregard the color of her skin during the tragic fire. She also helps to rebuild the city after the fire ends. This book is a must for any teacher who teaches Chicago history.

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