A story about recklessness and responsibility finds Meg fighting a wildfire that threatens her home, and she worries that her ""backward"" cousin, Orin, who has always been attracted to fire, may be responsible.
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Betty Levin is the author of many popular books for young people, including The Banished; Look Back, Moss; Away to Me, Moss; Island Bound; Fire in the Wind; and The Trouble with Gramary. Betty Levin has a sheep farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts, where she also raises and trains sheepdogs.In Her Own Words...
"I started writing stories almost as soon as I began to read. They were derivative and predictable-as much a way of revisiting characters and places in books I loved as it was a means of self-expression. I don't remember when words and their use became important. In the beginning was the story, and for a long time it was all that mattered.
"Even though I always wrote, I imagined becoming an explorer or an animal trainer. This was long before I had to be gainfully employed. It wasn't until after I'd landed in the workplace, first in museum research and then in teaching, that I returned to story writing-this time for my young children. Then a fellowship in creative writing at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College gave me and my storymaking a chance. One affirmation led to another, and now there are books-and some readers.
"When I talk with children in schools and libraries, I realize that child readers are still out there. When they get excited about a character or a scene, a new dimension opens for them, a new way of seeing and feeling and understanding.
"Of course there is always one child who asks how it feels to be famous and to be recognized in supermarkets. I explain that the only people who recognize me are those who have seen me working my sheep dogs or selling my wool at sheep fairs. That response often prompts another query: Why write books if they don't make you rich and famous? I usually toss that question back at the children. Why do they invent stories? How does story writing make them feel?
"Eventually we explore the distinction between wanting to be a writer and needing to write. If we want to write, then we must and will. Whether or not we become published authors, we all have tales to tell and stories to share. Literature can only continue to grow from the roots of our collective experience if children understand that they are born creative and that all humans are myth users and storytellers."From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-8?A fire in Maine in October 1947 is the basis for this story and provides the action, while a girl's struggle to deal with the role she sees for herself is its psychological underpinning. Meg's grandmother tells her she is like "fire in the wind," meaning that she only makes matters worse when she takes action. Meg is the self-appointed protector of her younger brother and her older, but "backward," cousin Orin. All of the community is on alert as a drought continues and fires break out. When flames arrive sending the family racing for cover, Meg turns to Orin for safety and leadership in a reversal of roles. Levin is a pro at unfolding the world from the point of view of her main character. Fans of Peg Kehret's Nightmare Mountain (Cobblehill, 1989) or Ivy Ruckman's Night of the Twisters (HarperCollins, 1984) might be disappointed that the focus is not the nonstop action caused by the fire but the people. Other readers will find satisfaction in Meg's growing ability to function effectively within her family. The incendiary nature of her meddling early on is like the sparks that fly in the prologue, mild hints that deeper trouble is ahead. While neither as grippingly suspenseful as Levin's Brother Moose (1990) nor as intriguing as her mellow, quiet Starshine and Sunglow (1994, both Greenwillow), Fire in the Wind is an appealing combination of history and adventure. It just doesn't quite live up to the promise of the first few paragraphs.?Carol A. Edwards, Minneapolis Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Greenwillow Books, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0688142990