Fire! Fire!: Famous Fires, Firefighters, and Fire Safety

Fire Prevention Week runs from October 6th to the 12th this year. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids at home and in the classroom about fire safety. You can also share with them some of the causes and consequences of famous fires of the past and what better way to learn about fires and the people who fight them than with books? Try searching the subject headings “Fire prevention,” “Fire fighters,” “Fire extinction,” “Fire engine,” and “Forest fires” to discover more of the many titles in the S-Collection about fires. Don’t forget to add “Juvenile Literature” for non-fiction books and “Juvenile Fiction” for fictional accounts to limit the search to children’s books!

Fire Safety

Bourgeois, Paulette.
Fire Fighters. 1998.
In this Level 3 first reader, young readers will be engaged by a non-fiction look at the lives of firefighters.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. 363.37 B666f]

Connolly, Sean.
Fire. 2005.
Describes fire, how it is both useful and dangerous, and what can be done to protect people, animals, and the environment from all sorts of fires. Connolly uses vivid first-hand accounts and impressive photographs that put the reader in the center of the devastation to show how fire affects the lives of ordinary people. Includes explanations about how governments, aid agencies, and individuals from around the world can provide help at times of need.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S. 628.92 C762f]

Harper, Jamie.
Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill. 2009.
All of the animals in the class face their fears of danger and practice wholeheartedly what their teacher Miss Mingo and the fire fighter Chief Grizzly teach them to do in a fire drill with excellent results.
[SSHEL S-Collection SE. H235mmf]

Miller, Edward.
Fireboy to the Rescue! 2010.
Fireboy gives tips on preventing fires and staying safe if a fire does start. Combining fun and facts, this practical guide to fire safety tells young readers what goes on at a fire station, how to help prevent fires and more.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. 628.92 M6136f]

Raatma, Lucia.
Fire Safety. 2004.
Explains various ways to stay safe near fires, and what to do in certain emergencies. Photographs and sidebars further describe more complex issues and concepts.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. 628.9 R111f]

Picture Books about Fire Trucks and Firefighters

Armstrong, Jennifer.
Magnus at the Fire. 2005.
When the Broadway Fire House acquires a motorized fire engine, Magnus the fire horse is not ready to retire.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. SE. Ar57m]

Grambling, Lois G.
My Mom is a Firefighter. 2007.
Billy spends time with his “second family” at the Floral Avenue firehouse where his mother works, and dreams of growing up to be a firefighter just like her.
[SSHEL S-Collection SE. G761my]

Hamilton, Kersten.
Firefighters to the Rescue! 2005.
First you hear the siren, then you see the lights. Soon, a red blur zooms by — it’s a truck of firefighters to the rescue! From practical jokes in the firehouse to legendary bravery, every detail of a firefighter’s life is fascinating.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. SE. H181f]

Lenski, Lois.
The Little Fire Engine. 2000.
Fireman Small and his little fire engine answer a call, rescue a little girl, and save a house from burning down.
[SSHEL S-Collection SE. L54lf 2000]

Sis, Peter.
Fire Truck. 1998.
Matt, who loves fire trucks, wakes up one morning to find that he has become a fire truck, with one driver, two ladders, three hoses, and ten boots.
[SSHEL S-Collection and Center for Children’s Books SE. Si81f]

Teague, Mark.
Firehouse! 2010.
Edward and his cousin Judy visit a firehouse and learn about the work of fire fighters, especially when they participate in a fire drill.
[SSHEL S-Collection and SSHEL Oak Street Q. SE. T221fi]

Intermediate and Young Adult Fiction about Famous Fires

Crew, Linda.
Fire on the Wind. 1995.
The summer before her fourteenth birthday, a fierce forest fire rages throughout northwestern Oregon and threatens the logging camp where Storie and her family live.
[SSHEL Oak Street and Center for Children’s Books S. C866F]

Friesner, Esther.
Threads and Flames. 2010.
After recovering from typhus, thirteen-year-old Raisa leaves her Polish shtetl for America to join her older sister, and goes to work at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. F915th]

Goodhart, Pippa.
Fire Cat. 2006.
While London burns in 1666, John’s cat Sammy disappears, and while he searches for the cat, John follows his friend Mr. Pepys’s advice and writes in a journal about what he observes.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. G618f]

Harlow, Joan Hiatt.
Firestorm! 2010.
A twelve-year-old street urchin and the son of Chicago’s most important jeweler strike up an unlikely friendship in the days before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and both are nearly trapped when the city goes up in flames.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. H227f]

Ingold, Jeanette.
The Big Burn. 2002.
Three teenagers battle the flames of the Big Burn of 1910, one of the century’s biggest wildfires.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. In46b]

Non-Fiction about Fires

Godkin, Celia.
Fire. 2006.
The life cycle of a forest is examined, from the devastation of a fire to its gradual renewal as a vital ecosystem.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S. 577.24 G546f]

Lauder, Patricia.
Summer of Fire: Yellowstone 1988. 1991.
Describes the season of fire that struck Yellowstone in 1988, and examines the complex ecology that returns plant and animal life to a seemingly barren, ash-covered expanse.
[SSHEL Oak Street and Center for Children’s Books S. 581.52642 L361S]

Lieurance, Suzanne.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and Sweatshop Reform in American History. 2003.
Explores the people and events connected with the 1911 fire in a New York City sewing factory that killed 146 people and led to reforms in legislation regarding workplace safety.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. 974.7 L625t]

Morrison, Taylor.
Wildfire. 2006.
Every summer, wildfires spread through the forests of the western United States, threatening homes and entire communities in their paths. Hundreds of firefighters work tirelessly to control this extremely powerful and unpredictable force of nature. But despite the seemingly devastating effects of wildfires, they also play an essential role in forest ecosystems.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S. 634.9 M834w]

Murphy, Jim.
The Great Fire. 1995.
By weaving personal accounts of actual survivors together with the carefully researched history of Chicago and the disaster, [the author] constructs a narrative that recreates the events. He reveals how, even in a time of deepest despair, the human spirit triumphed, as the people of Chicago found the courage and strength to build their city once again.
[SSHEL S-Collection and Center for Children’s Books S. 977.311041 M954G]