If the Fire Comes

A Story of Segregation during the Great Depression

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Pub Date 01 Sep 2019 | Archive Date 19 Aug 2019
North Star Editions, Jolly Fish Press

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Description

It's 1935, and the Great Depression and California drought has left eleven-year-old Joseph McCoy shining shoes to help his family survive. Through his hard work and games with his sister, Joseph has figured out how to get by as one of the few black people in a mostly white community. But the order of the town is disrupted when an all-black Civilian Conservation Corps camp comes to Elsinore, sparking racial tension. It isn't long before prejudice spreads like wildfire and threatens to force the work camp to leave. Could Joseph's secret project save the camp and bring his family hope for the future? If not, the whole town just might go up in flames.

It’s the storytellers that preserve a nation’s history. But what happens when some stories are silenced? The I Am America series features fictional stories based on important historical events about people whose voices have been excluded, lost, or forgotten over time.

It's 1935, and the Great Depression and California drought has left eleven-year-old Joseph McCoy shining shoes to help his family survive. Through his hard work and games with his sister, Joseph has...


Advance Praise

"The author's skillful blend of fact and fiction is backed up by fascinating backmatter ... historical facts are woven into the story with such finesse readers will be eager to learn more." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"The author's skillful blend of fact and fiction is backed up by fascinating backmatter ... historical facts are woven into the story with such finesse readers will be eager to learn more." —Kirkus...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781631633720
PRICE $8.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 8 members


Featured Reviews

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I really love the I Am America series for the way it enlightens about history. I think they're a great teaching tool.

I really liked this one. Joseph and Maya are likable, Scrappy protagonists who care for pigeons in the beginning and their journey is really interesting.

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If the Fire Comes
A Story of Segregation during the Great Depression

by Tracy Daley

North Star Editions

Jolly Fish Press

Historical Fiction , Middle Grade

Pub Date 01 Sep 2019

I am reviewing a copy of If the Fire Comes through Jolly Fish Press and Netgalley:

If you are looking for a good historical fiction novel set in the Middle of the Great Depression for your middle grade reader If the Fire Comes is one I recommend! The book would make a great tool for opening up a discussion on The Great Depression as well as racial prejudice!

The year is 1935, and between the California drought and the Great Depression has left eleven year old having to shine shoes so his family can survive. Joseph has had to figure out how to get by as one of the few black people in the mostly white community. Sadly the order of the town is disrupted when an all black Conservative Corp Camp comes to Elsinore, the camp sparks racial tensions. Before long racial prejudice spreads like a wildfire forcing the work camp to leave the community! Will Joseph’s secret project be able to save the camp?

I give If the Fire Comes five out of five stars because I find that this book is both accurate and well written!

Happy Reading!

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What a great book for our young readers! It shows the struggles some have in life, and also the good that happens! I will be recommending it to my local library and the young children!

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The cover of this book is very inviting and draws your right in. It's perfect for a middle grade reader. There are mentions of blood, but its very vague and barely worth mentioning. The brunt of the storyline is very inclusive and about a very important part of American history that is still being battled today. Segregation, racism, bravery, valor. All things children should know about. The illustrations bring the story to life. I would recommend this book. 4 out of 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Thank you so much to North Star Editions/Jolly Fish Press and NetGalley for sending me a ebook copy of If the Fire Comes by Tracey Daley (from the I Am America series), in exchange for an honest review.

From the first line of this book I knew it was going to have such a heart to it and that I would instantly enjoy reading it.

The story follows Joseph McCoy a poor shoeshiner living during the Great Depression. He and his sister Maya who had suffered with polio both love pretending that they are spies, living with their uncle and their pigeons that Joseph saved. When one day Joseph is working and spying all at the same time he learns of things that were coming and changing in his town. These changes are the CCC workers coming to help cut out the fires in their area. Most of the citizens are unwilling to accept them. Joseph makes some new friends including George of the CCC, he learns a new job training his pigeons and he is brave and helps his people.

This story was so beautifully told, it had parts that made you smile, parts that made you laugh, other parts that made you sad. Throughout the whole book you are enticed and moved by what you are reading really wanting to know more of what is going to happen next, wanting to know more of what Joseph and Maya are doing.

This is a perfect historical story told in such a delicate and wonderful way, sharing what it was truly like during the depression, of how people were treated, how those willing to help were unwanted, of the hard work the CCC workers did and the ignorance they were given. Those times were not easy and this book shows a true example of it.

The art work by Eric Freeberg was beautiful and made it even more enjoyable getting to see the characters on the pages as you read. The back of the book holds vital information and facts of the real life people during the depression and is so informative, I’m so happy it was included.

I highly recommend reading this book not only children but adults too, stories like this are very rarely told and it teaches you so much. History is for all and anyone reading will have their eyes opened and will learn so much. I will certainly be looking for the other three books in this series as I enjoyed this one so much.

My review on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2838373605

My post/ review on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByFJO9bAJhf/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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Another wonderful addition to this elementary / middle school series, this book covers the Great Depression from an African-American perspective. There are elements of history - such as carrier pigeons, polio, and the underbelly of discrimination - intricately woven into the story that children will remember long after the last page is read!

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