Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick
IL 5-8, RL 4.8
Hurry, hurry, hurry!
Step right up!
Friends and fans of freak
see mysteries to beguile
to confound the doubtful!
There is nothing like a circus
to take your mind off your worries. And on July 6, 1944, that is
just what the crowd was looking for. The country was at war and people
needed an afternoon escape. There was no way for them to know that
their lives would change that day. Forever. When the flames
broke out on the big top and spread so fast that there was no escape.
Harry King, war veteran, went
to the circus to take his mind off things, Eddy Carlyle, sideshow fan,
came to see the freaks, and eleven-year-old Polly McDonald, who wanted
to stay outside with the animals, went in anyway because Aunt Betty didn’t
want to miss the Greatest Show on Earth. Then a tragedy occurred. Firefighters
were called, but they were too late to save Harry or Eddy, or Polly and
her Aunt Betty, because the canvas tent, waterproofed with gasoline and
paraffin, caught fire like “one huge candle/ just waiting for a light.”
These haunting poems of dreams and disaster, heroism and heartbreak, draw
their power from a true event: the Hartford , Connecticut ,
circus fire of July 6, 1944, in which 167 people were killed and
more than 500 injured. (Prepared by: Sandy Bailey, SCASL
Junior Book Awards)