Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Emmi in the City

Alikhan, Salima. Emmi in the City: A Great Chicago Fire (Girls Survive)
January 1st 2019 by Stone Arch Books
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Emmi and her toymaker father have come to the US from Germany, hoping to make a better life for themselves in the 1870s. Emmi still misses home, and has some trouble getting along with Irish children in the neighborhood, particularly twins Seamus and Cara. When a fire starts nearby, Emmi and her father are separated, and Emmi tries to make her way to the river. Along the way, she runs into the twins, and the three work together to escape the flames. They are worried about their families, but also about whether they will survive themselves. Eventually, they make it to safety, where they are reconnected with their parents. Emmi's father has helped a wealthy businessman to safety, so it given the use of his summer cottage and a stone shop back in Chicago when the city is put back together.
Strengths: This is one of those historical events that shows up from time to time, and the book reads very much like a Lauren Tarshis I Survived volume. Lots of good details about daily life at the time, and about how the fire unfolded and Emmi managed to survive it. Glossary of terms at the back.
Weaknesses: This seemed slightly odd. There was a lot of pining for her father, and a lot of discussion of the difficulties of the Irish. Given the dire circumstances of surviving the fire, I'm not sure these topics would have been foremost in Emmi's mind.
What I really think: I'm really interested to see what else Girls Survive! However, since I already have Hilmo's Cinnamon Moon, which covers this event nicely, but if you need another book on the Great Chicago Fire, have a look at this one, and at this great list:

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