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Wildfire



by
Rodman Philbrick

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Scholastic
Imprint
The Blue Sky Press
ISBN
9781338266900
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$16.80
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Flames race toward Sam Castine's summer camp as evacuation buses are loading, but Sam runs back to get his phone. Suddenly, a flash of heat blasts him as pine trees explode. Now a wall of fire separates Sam from his bus, and there's only one thing to do: Run for his life. Run or die.

Lungs burning, Sam's only goal is to keep moving. Drought has made the forest a tinderbox, and Sam struggles to remember survival tricks he learned from his late father. Then, when he least expects it, he encounters Delphy, an older girl who is also lost. Their unlikely friendship grows as they join forces to find civilization.

Facts about wildfires.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

208

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

4.5: points 5

Lexile

700L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

9

JLG Release

Nov 2019

Book Genres

Adventure

Topics

Forest fires. Arson. Survival. Friendship. Maine.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal*, Booklist

Horn Book

What does it feel like to be in the middle of a wildfire, with walls of flame at your back as you run for your life? Twelve-year-old Sam Castine knows. He had been boarding a bus about to evacuate Camp Wabanaski in the Maine woods when he realized that his cellphone was still in his cabin. By the time he finds it, a wall of fire has separated him from the bus. For the rest of the novel, he is on the run. He comes across another lost camper—a teenage girl named Delphy—and together they desperately seek safety. Philbrick (Who Killed Darius Drake?, rev. 1/18) roots his survival story in the details of the Great Fire of 1947 that devastated much of Maine, but sets this tale in the present, employing his usual combination of short, staccato sentences and action verbs to good effect in capturing Sam and Delphy’s breathless flight. Despite the simple, easy-reading prose style, much is going on here. Sam’s brisk first-person narrative also folds in the story of how his father died in Afghanistan and how his mother became addicted to opioids. Sam is a likable boy with a mature outlook on life, so readers will get a fine adventure story with some philosophical depth. Back matter includes extensive information about wildfires and some survival tips.

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

What does it feel like to be in the middle of a wildfire, with walls of flame at your back as you run for your life? Twelve-year-old Sam Castine knows. He had been boarding a bus about to evacuate Camp Wabanaski in the Maine woods when he realized that his cellphone was still in his cabin. By the time he finds it, a wall of fire has separated him from the bus. For the rest of the novel, he is on the run. He comes across another lost camper—a teenage girl named Delphy—and together they desperately seek safety. Philbrick (Who Killed Darius Drake?, rev. 1/18) roots his survival story in the details of the Great Fire of 1947 that devastated much of Maine, but sets this tale in the present, employing his usual combination of short, staccato sentences and action verbs to good effect in capturing Sam and Delphy’s breathless flight. Despite the simple, easy-reading prose style, much is going on here. Sam’s brisk first-person narrative also folds in the story of how his father died in Afghanistan and how his mother became addicted to opioids. Sam is a likable boy with a mature outlook on life, so readers will get a fine adventure story with some philosophical depth. Back matter includes extensive information about wildfires and some survival tips.

Grades 5-8
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