Kids' Books We Love
Book reviews from Youth Services

The Earth Dragon Awakes : the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

  Yep, Laurence

Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
Number of Pages: 117
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Historical fiction

Material Type/Location:

Youth Fiction

Reading Level:


Book Cover from Syndetics Solutions

Why I liked this title:

This is the story of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 from two perspectives: Henry, whose father is a banker, and Chin, a Chinese immigrant whose father is the “houseboy” for Henry’s family. The boys are friends and share an interest in "penny dreadfuls," which are trashy, but exciting, books that show heroes doing heroic things.

One morning, the earth shakes and buildings collapse. Glass is everywhere, water mains break, cable car tracks are twisted. Days of fires and chaos follow. We see how each family is affected by the devastation and how they make their way to safety. We see how each boy is worried about the safety of the other. And, we see how ordinary people become real life heroes.

This work of historical fiction reads like an adventure story. It is full of facts about what happened during the earthquake and shows us what life was like for both the rich people of San Francisco and the poor Chinese immigrants. Given the earthquakes that have taken place in recent months in Haiti and Chile, and that many students have given, or raised, money for their victims, kids will be more interested than ever to read about what happens when an earthquake occurs. This is an exciting story that will appeal to kids. Teachers and parents will appreciate the extensive research the author put into this project. It would make a great read-aloud for any classroom's historical fiction genre study.

Reviewed by: Karen Trier on 4/3/2010

Similar Titles:

I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Tarshis, Lauren.
Listing Generated: 12/18/2014