Fires in the Wilderness: A Story of the Civilian Conservation Corps Boys by Jeffery L Schatzer
It’s the Great Depression, and times are hard. Children are starving. Families are scraping by on government handouts and the kindness of strangers. There is no work to be had and no money to be earned. Teenager Jarek Sokolowski and his brother take action to save their loved onesthey apply for jobs in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Fires in the Wilderness chronicles the journey of a pair of Polish boys from Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1934. After some training, they are shipped far from home to a work camp in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The friends take on backbreaking jobs that leave them bruised and blistered. To make matters worse, their work leader is a cruel bully who loves to stir up trouble. When wildfires sweep across the northern wilderness, the CCC boys are pressed into duty. As the fire grows out of control, several boys find themselves trapped by walls of flame and Jarek is faced with a terrible choice.
Through their work and struggles, the Civilian Conservation Corps boys learn hard lessons about life and the importance of character, teamwork, and leadership. Fires in the Wilderness is an inspiring story that provides readers with a peek into the past through the eyes of an immigrant boy.
Jeffery L. Schatzer has won numerous national and international awards for writing and creativity. His stories have been noted for strong moral values and important messages and themes. An avid student of Michigan and Midwest history, Jeffery creates historical fiction that brings the past to life through characters that are quirky and entertaining.
In 1935 his father was a CCC boy at a camp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Jeffery and his wife, Deborah, live in Bellaire, Michigan. Their home is nestled in the marvel and majesty of the Depression Era contributions of the Civilian Conservation Corps.