Into the Firestorm by Deborah Hopkinson
A Novel of San Francisco, 1906

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“I believe I can just see you on the streets of that bright city.”

Gran’s gone now, but her words live on with Nicholas Dray, almost twelve, as he makes his way from the hot cotton fields to that Queen of Cities: San Francisco. Nick’s on his own for the first time, with nowhere to turn. Then he meets jaunty, talkative Pat Patterson, owner of the most beautiful store–and the friendliest golden dog–in all the city. And for the first time in months, Nick feels safe. Safe in San Francisco.

But the year is 1906, the month is April, and early one morning the walls begin to shake. The floor begins to buckle. And the earth opens up. A devastating earthquake and then raging firestorms ravage the city, and Nick is right in the middle of it all. But for a young boy who’s got few ties and nothing to lose, what’s the right choice: escape to safety or stay–at deadly risk–to help others?

From acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson comes a suspenseful and carefully researched novel of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire and of one boy’s heroic fight to survive it.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Deborah Hopkinson

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Deborah Hopkinson is the author of numerous award-winning children's books, including Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, winner of the International Reading Association Award, Girl Wonder, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award, and Apples to Oregon, a Junior Library Guild Selection. She received the 2003 Washington State Book Award for Under the Quilt for the Night. She lives in Oregon. Visit her on the Web at
Published March 11, 2008 by Yearling. 210 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Into the Firestorm

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In the process, Nick discovers that “the true heart of a city is its people.” Characterization and action are strong in this memorable tale of a city and a boy who finds his place in the world.

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Common Sense Media

As fire advances through the city, Nick tries to take care of the owner's dog, Shake, as well as a little girl from across the street and her pregnant, injured mother.

Sep 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Into the Firestorm: A Novel o...

Though one was fire and the other flood, the stories are similar: Cities destroyed not so much by acts of nature as by the following failures of man.

Sep 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Into the Firestorm: A Novel o...

Youth Services Book Review

After twelve-year-old Nick’s grandmother dies, Nick is shipped off to an orphanage.

Mar 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Into the Firestorm: A Novel o...

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