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"Riveting. . . . A memorable historical fiction selection, similar in intensity to Karen Hesse’s OUT OF THE DUST and WITNESS." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)
One summer afternoon in 1944, hundreds of circus lovers crowded under the big top in Hartford, waiting for the show to begin. Minutes later, a fire broke out and spread through the tent, claiming the lives of 167 souls and injuring some 500 more. Paul B. Janeczko recalls that tragic event by bringing to life some unforgettable voices -- from circus performers to seasoned fans, from firefi ghters to ushers. Using the lyrical power of language to render tragedy with a human face, this spare, startling book in verse leaves an emotional impact young readers will not soon forget.
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Paul B. Janeczko is a renowned poetry anthologist who has edited more than twenty collections for young readers, including A POKE IN THE I: A COLLECTION OF CONCRETE POEMS, which was both a NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Best Illustrated Book and a PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Best Book of the Year, and SEEING THE BLUE BETWEEN: ADVICE AND INSPIRATION FOR YOUNG POETS. He is also a brilliant poet in his own right, and with WORLDS AFIRE removes his anthologist’s hat and assumes a full-fledged role as author and poet. He says, "More than anything else, I wanted to give a voice to the people whose lives were forever changed by the fire. And to give those who perished a chance to speak as well."Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
We laid nine hundred feet of hose
then another hundred and a half.
About a ton of hose.
But we all knew
we were too late.
There was no tent
just folding chairs
and bleachers blazing
like nobody's business.
Too hot to get close.
See, they dip
their chairs in paint
and hang them up to dry,
so as the years pass
they're adding another layer of paint
eager to burn.
But that's not half the problem
of the tent itself.
To keep the rain out
they coat the canvas
with paraffin mixed with gasoline,
laid on good and thick with stiff brooms.
Oh, that waterproofs it all right—
been doing it that way for years—
but what does it give you?
One huge candle
just waiting for a light.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Book Description Paw Prints 2008-05-09, 2008. Library Binding. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB1435269969
Book Description Paw Prints 2008-05-09, 2008. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1435269969