Nicky and his dad, Steve, were never close. Two strangers living in the same house… until Career Day. Nicky has to write a report on what his father does for a living. Steve is a New York City firefighter, and he brings Nicky to work with him for one day. Nicky sees firsthand the inside workings of a firehouse.
While there, Ladder 52 gets ordered to The Rock, the F.D.N.Y. training center. Nicky witnesses what the Probies endure to be one of The Bravest. He experiences a roof rope rescue, the smokehouse, and goes into the fireroom.
On the way back, Nicky watches controlled chaos as Ladder 52 gets called to a working fire. He witnesses loyalty and bravery when Steve enters a third-story window and disappears into the smoke. What happens next will bond father and son forever.
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
Nicky’s Fire is a book written for younger readers but I found it very poignant as a father. Nicky’s dad is a firefighter who is working a second job to help his family survive and thrive. What is not so apparent at first is that these two jobs take him away from being there for Nicky, including being his baseball tutor. This situation comes to head when Nicky’s class gets assigned a project to do a project about their parent’s careers. Different students have their parents come as a “show-and-tell” prop in addition to the written and oral student report. After some trepidation, Nicky asks his dad if he can go to work with him and observe, first-hand, what he does. After some back and forth, Nicky does get to go to the firehouse and discover a totally different side of his very staid father when he is with his firefighter brothers. The other firefighters adopt Nicky into the “brotherhood” and that elevates them and also his dad in Nicky’s mind. A broader definition of family is developing in the reader’s mind as these folks interact for the common good. The firehouse totally accepts Nicky and helps him broaden his prospective of his dad’s work life. The interactions of father and son are heart-warming and mirror what many a similar interaction has experienced. A fire training academy, a dangerous fire the engine company fights, and a real-life fire experience with Nicky rounds out some of the interactions. Similar interactions between other children and their dads are peripheral to the main story, but serve to show that Nicky’s experiences are not unique. Ultimately the dad has a different kind of father-son talk and each of them develops a new perspective that the reader feels in a visceral way. Soon money is not the only thing that is important but also relationships, parental love, family responsibility, and other feel-good interactions are explored. The book is a great read for kids and parents but maybe particularly for dads and sons. Would be great to read together and have this discussion between the two parties. There might be some angst and parts of story will be hard for both parent (dad) and child (son). While this is focused mainly on male-bonding, it is a broader story that has applicability for various parental/child groupings. Definitely a thumbs up for reading.
This was an easy read and I enjoyed being able to sit down and pick it up to get straight back into where I'd left off. I really enjoyed reading about the firefighters, the station, the rock and all the bits that they get up to whilst at work. When reading I could really imagine them being there doing everything that was said. I really liked the Nicky as the main protagonist and enjoyed his character development throughout the story. Although I enjoyed the book, I only gave it three stars as I thought some of the other characters and bits of the story were just shoehorned in to pad out the story. Overall a great story for a quick read.
Middle school is not an easy time in a child's life. Arms and legs and voices that don't always act the way they are supposed to. Friends who aren't always friendly. Nicky's middle-school life is filled with a dad who works two jobs and is rarely at home, a bully who won't leave him alone, a stay-at-home mom who is worn out trying to be all things to all people and a teacher with [unrealistic??] expectations. The new assignment is to write about your parent's job (career) or have your parent make a guest appearance in the classroom. Nicky's dad is a plumber. And a firefighter. Nicky and Steve don't spend much time together, don't have much in common. But, this new assignment gives Nicky extra courage to ask his dad about being a fireman, and, even, to get his dad and all the bosses above him, to agree to let Nicky spend a day at the fire house to see what goes on there. Nicky learns some very valuable lessons this day: don't panic, the value of all jobs -- whether or not they're glamorous, we take care of our own, kinds of fires, length of training, the difference between a job and a career. Richard Trotta, Sr., himself a NYFD firefighter for 28 years, has written a YA novel that reads like a father talking to his son. Trotta uses fire department vocabulary, followed by understandable but not condescending definitions. It's a novel, so there's quite a bit of action, maybe more than Nicky might observe on many days, but certainly plausible for some days. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to my grandchildren, and to anyone who wants to find out what firefighting is all about. I read this EARC courtesy of Black Rose Writing and NetGalley. pub date 03/12/21
Nicky never saw his Dad much. He worked two jobs and was never home. But when they had to write about a family member, he was the one he chose. Now if he could just come to the presentation with him... Black Rose Writing and Net Galley shared this book with me (thank you). It has been published and you can get a copy now. I worked for a city and worked with the firemen on budgets and other things. This story is very accurate, not just about the training but about the actual experiences fighting fire. Steve takes Nicky down to the fire station. He gets to participate in fire training and develops a new respect for what his Dad does. Then they get called out on a real fire. Steve wants him to stay at the station but the fire captain invites him along... The fire is bad and when everyone is out, he still doesn't see his Dad. They go to look for him and find him under a section of roof that fell. He's not breathing well, so they unzip his coat to get the mask out. He has a baby on his chest breathing the clean air from his mask. He's hauled away in an ambulance with his son at his side. This creates a much stronger bond between them. Will his Dad survive? How about the 1 year old? Read it and see...