Monday, December 10, 2012


A review by Mr. B. from the Grandview Branch: 

Earthquake based stories have a special significance for California readers, as do depictions of firestorms.  With The Earth Dragon Awakes ; The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, Laurence Yep takes us to the torn and burning wreckage of San Francisco, April 17-29, 1906. The fiction portion of this stark historical concerns an affluent banker’s family and the family of their Chinese houseboy. The sons of these two families (ages 8 and 9) have become good friends, sharing dreams of heroes, and dime store novels about them. Separated by the great quake, hoards of urban refugees, and Chinese segregation policies, we watch the boys’ families in alternating chapters as they struggle to survive and re-unite despite the panic, the aftershocks, and the great fire that leveled San Francisco. The historical portion is well researched and presented in lively, gritty detail. While The Earth Dragon Awakes makes an exciting solo read, it may also make an excellent shared read-aloud.

Reading level: 4; Age: 8-12

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