{I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871: Lauren Tarshis}I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 by Lauren Tarshis
Series: I Survived
Published by Scholastic Press on February 24, 2015
Genres: Adventure, Childrens, Historical Fiction, Middle School
Pages: 112
Format: Paperback
Source: Store Bought
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{Synopsis} – Could an entire city really burn to the ground?
Oscar Starling never wanted to come to Chicago. But then Oscar finds himself not just in the heart of the big city, but in the middle of a terrible fire! No one knows exactly how it began, but one thing is clear: Chicago is like a giant powder keg about to explode.

An army of firemen is trying to help, but this fire is a ferocious beast that wants to devour everything in its path, including Oscar! Will Oscar survive one of the most famous and devastating fires in history?

Lauren Tarshis brings history’s most exciting and terrifying events to life in this New York Times-bestselling series. Readers will be transported by stories of amazing kids and how they survived!

{My thoughts} – Oscar is a young boy that has his entire world flipped upside down. His father passes away and then his mom meets a new guy and they get married. The new guy wants them to move with him in Chicago and so they do. They sell their farm and head off to Chicago by train. Oscar isn’t happy about this at all. He’d made a promise to his dad that he’d look after the farm and since his mother has sold it, that isn’t a promise he can keep.

When they get to Chicago Oscar is distracted by a young girl and some older boys steal their suitcases. Oscar isn’t sure what to think about that other then he is upset he lost his father’s sheriffs badge and that he’d like to get it back. His mom and his new step dad call the police and they tell them more or less that there isn’t anything that they can do. They also told them their belongings would probably never be recovered.

That night they go out to eat at the Palmer House and his mother notices that the sky is orange. His new step dad says it’s nothing to worry about and that Chicago has the best fire department in the country. They continue on with their night in a sense. As they are about to walk into the Palmer house he sees the little girl that distracted him and he decides to run after her and see if he can get their stuff back. It takes a bit but he realizes what a terrible mistake he’d made by following her.

While everything is going on at once he quickly starts going back and forth in his mind about the fire that had happened at the farm where he’d grown up. How out of control it was and how many things were burnt up and how many lives were lost. He ends up getting hurt and saving the girl and her little brother from the house they lived in because it caught on fire and they got trapped. They girl and her brother get out but he ends up almost being trapped inside until he realizes the girl is telling him how to get out. This starts their journey to try and get back to the Palmer House, back to his mother.

So much takes place from the time they leave the girls house to when he finally reaches the Palmer House. So much devastation and destruction. This book is one that was really hard for me to read. My family has personally been affected by a house fire and the outcome was grim. I am thankful that the author allowed these children to get out of the house, to have a fighting chance, not everyone in such a situation has that kind of opportunity.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series very soon!

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.