Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotThe story of the Great Fire of 1666 in London is told through experiences of a young boy named John. His adventure searching for his cat bring him into danger as the fire rages for several days. It is supposedly his suggestion to Mr. Pepys that the fire will not burn earth, which brings about the action of razing houses to create a firebreak. John is encouraged by Samuel Pepys to keep a diary just like the great writer/documentarian did. Pepys diary, as the timeline and endnotes indicate, has been a great source for learning about life in the 1600s. After so many people were left homeless by the fire, the rules for building houses were changed and the rat population, which had spread the plague, was also dislodgedan unexpected boon. While the art is a bit monotonousyellow backgrounds reflecting the fire and characters with a cartoon appearancethe story of the fire and John's search for his cat, Sammy, and the little twist at the end make this an interesting chapter book. Part of the "Go Bananas" series, which includes fun facts and an activity related to the story.
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