The Earth Dragon Awakes : The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
The Earth Dragon Awakes by award-winning author Laurence Yep tells the story of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 from the alternating perspective of two young friends. Henry Travis lives with his family in the Sacramento Street area. Chin, Henry’s friend, is the son of Ah Sing, the Travises’ houseboy. The novel begins on early evening on Tuesday, April 17, 1906, in the Travis household and takes us hour by hour through the next few days.
Yep does a marvelous job interspersing facts about the earthquake with the fictional stories of the boys. The reader sees how easily the great fires began with such simple activities as cooking ham and eggs after the quake. Yep aptly describes the scenes following the actual quake: “Some of the skyscrapers are already just steel skeletons. Their collapsed walls burn at their base like a garden of red and yellow flowers. Others are ablaze. They look like giant torches.”
This is a perfect book to commemorate the anniversary of this great national disaster and to add to a classroom collection. Ages 8-12.