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Earthquake in the Early Morning (Magic Tree House #24): 07/03/10
I'm a second generation Californian. My roots here only go back as far as the end of WWII but it's enough to have a solid respect for earthquakes in my blood. Having lived in the Bay Area now for more than a decade, Mary Pope Osborne's book Earthquake in the Early Morning instantly brings to mind just what it should: the San Francisco earthquake that struck just before dawn on April 18, 1906.
Although there are only a handful of survivors left (and all of them were infants), the earthquake is still commemorated with a ringing of a bell at the time the earthquake struck. The anniversary also always brings reminders of the big ones still to come and dire warnings of what will most likely happen when the Hayward fault finally ruptures. I'm two and half miles away from the fault and can see the way it slowly but surely warps the streets and sidewalks of downtown Hayward.
In Earthquake in the Early Morning Jack and Annie go back in time to experience the earthquake and the aftermath. They try to help survivors and have some limited success. Their time in the City is spent experiencing the fires, the rubble and the tent cities.
The best parts of the book though are the illustrations. Usually I just pass over them but this time they struck me as familiar. Sean and I researched the illustrations together and found some of the photographs from the aftermath of the quake that must have inspired the scenes depicted and illustrated.
Out of the books in the series I've read Earthquake in the Early Morning is among my favorites.
Other Magic Tree House books reviewed here:
Comment #1: Sunday, July, 4, 2010 at 17:01:37
How interesting! I have an adult non-fiction book on my shelf (yet unread) about the 1906 earthquake. It's The San Francisco Earthquake by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts. It has a lot of photographs I wonder if some are the same ones those illustrations were based on?
Comment #2: Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 19:03:07
It's very likely that the photographs in your book are the same ones that inspired the illustrations in Earthquake in the Early Morning. The photographs taken in the aftermath are well known. Which book do you have? I might want to add it to my wish list!