The Big Burn by Jeanette Ingold

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Jarrett is sixteen—old enough to reject the railroad job his father wants him to take, old enough to court Lizbeth Whitcomb, old enough to join the fight against the forest fires that are destroying Idaho and Montana. But the fires are worse than anyone dreamed, and soon the flames have has come between Jarrett and everything he holds dear, between Jarrett and Lizbeth, and thrown him into the company of a young black private named Seth, whose own plans to desert the army have been cut short by the disaster.
A about the biggest wildfire of the century--the big blow-up of 1910--The Big Burn is a portrait of a time, a place, and an event that changed the way we fight wildfires, altered the landscape of Idaho and Montana, and transformed forever the lives of the people at the front lines.

About Jeanette Ingold

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JEANETTE INGOLD is the author of several acclaimed novels, including Pictures, 1918 and Airfield. She lives and writes in Montana.
Published June 1, 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 322 pages
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, History, Nature & Wildlife, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Born of sparks from trains, the working fires of homesteaders and miners, the campfires of hoboes, and lightning coursing down from the summer sky, the fires joined as a wall of flame, an “orange hell” that consumed two-and-a-half-million acres of public forest land by the time it was done.

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Publishers Weekly

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The confluence of wildfires that burned in Idaho and Montana in 1910—eventually christened the Big Burn—serves as the setting for this dramatic work of historical fiction.

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Publishers Weekly

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these slow the pace but offer illuminating background, including the contrast between the Indian tradition of setting controlled fires annually versus the government's belief that "the only safe way to control fire was to not let it burn in the first place."

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Teen Reads

Both historically accurate and dramatically engaging, THE BIG BURN is a great choice for anyone who is interested in learning about the phenomena of forest fires while also reading a great story.

Jun 01 2002 | Read Full Review of The Big Burn

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