This is the tale of the San Francisco earthquake seen through the eyes of two young boys. One, Henry, a white, middle class boy and the other, Chin, a Chinese immigrant who works in the house. The story gives the reader insight into what occurred during the three day period of the earthquake,the great fire and the subsequent civil unrest. This book works well for both fiction and non-fiction lovers. It is based on factual accounts of the earthquake but told in a way that mixes imagination with truth consequently it is a fictional account that reads like non-fiction.
I liked how the author made the tragedy accessible to his readers by focusing on the little things one notices during times of stress, like the useless items people saved from the rubble. This book is geared towards the younger readers in third through sixth grade. It is a good way to make history come alive for children whose eyes glaze over when confronted with a list of facts. I believe children would find this story helpful in comprehending the recent tragedies of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Age range: 3rd grade to 6th grade readers.
The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 by Laurence Yep. HarperCollins Publisher, NY,NY. 2006. 117pp.