Friday, April 24, 2020

Book Review: The Great Fire by Jim Murphy

The Great Fire

The Great Fire
Author:  Jim Murphy
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio (2003)
Narrated by Taylor Mali
3 hours (approx.)
Genre:  Juvenile Nonfiction

The Great Fire is the story of the 1871 fire that destroyed a large portion of Chicago.  Author Jim Murphy combines first hand accounts and careful research to create a narrative that is hard to forget.  We are able to follow several individuals through the course of the fire based on their first hand accounts.  The author fills in the missing details based on his research and what was learned about the fire after the fact.  

It was interesting to learn how human carelessness combined with the right conditions led to the fire being much worse than it needed to be.  But equally interesting was how people helped one another in the midst of the fire and how quickly things were rebuilt once the fire was extinguished.  

While this is considered a children's book, I found that it had just the right amount of information for me.  I think that anyone, middle school age and up would find this compelling.  I listened to the audio book version narrated by Taylor Mali.  I enjoyed his reading and use of different voices for the individuals in the story.

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