Select one of the keywords
Fire: Chicago, 1871    by Kathleen Duey & Karen A. Bale order for
by Kathleen Duey
Order:  USA  Can
Aladdin, 2014 (2014)
*   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

Another disappointing installment in the Survivors series by Kathleen Duey and Karen A. Bale has gone up in smoke with Fire: Chicago, 1871. Having read Survivors Titanic: April, 1912, I came to realize that though the events differ, the story is basically the same.

In this novel (as with the one about the demise of the Titanic), a young, wealthy girl, Julie, is paired up with Nate, a boy from mediocre surroundings. Their paths cross and they must escape peril together, the girl relying on the boy to save her. Both Nate and Julie get separated from their families in their rush to escape the fire.

Aside from trying to save themselves and their families, the duo also must try to find Nate's friend Ryan who ended up getting injured. In just one night Nate and Julie run all over Chicago escaping the fire; head to Julie's home to find her parents; go to Nate's home to save his aunt and her boarders; try to find and save Ryan; and Julie even is kidnapped ... and saved, of course.

Despite the factual setting, that much activity for the pair makes the story less believable. The most entertaining aspect of this novel is the historic fire itself. Readers who pay close attention to detail will also notice that on the dust jacket description Nate's last name is Copper, but throughout the novel his last name is really Cooper. Although this novel had the potential to be quite good, the execution falls short and is quite a disappointing read for young adults.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews